Kevin Rudd has beat a steady drumbeat this week. He began by tweeting about his sick cat.
This morning on Brisbane radio, he lamented the slow pace of reform in the Labor Party, recounted the trauma of losing the leadership, and expressed hope that the mining tax, watered down after he was dumped as leader, would make the revenue it was forecast to make.
Mr Rudd was dumped in June 2010 in the middle of a fight with the mining companies over his mining tax.
His supporters freely admit the former prime minister is repositioning himself for the leadership but insist there will be no challenge and the caucus must come to realise it needs him to win the next election.
Amid speculation that the present mining tax will fall short on revenue, he took a potshot yesterday at the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, who negotiated the compromise.
Mr Rudd said big mining companies knew "how to throw their political weight around".
"(But) the key question is not the pressure they apply. The key question is whether government responds and how government responds," he said.
To coincide with the resumption of Parliament the week after next, a book will be released by the former Labor MP and Rudd loyalist, Maxine McKew.
Supporters of Ms Gillard believe it has been "ghostwritten" by Mr Rudd and that its release is timed to inflict destabilisation.
They cite highly detailed questions Ms McKew asked of political players during her research.
Ms McKew, a distinguished journalist of 30 years before joining Labor and defeating John Howard in his seat of Bennelong in 2007, repudiated the claims.
She said the book was based on "hours and hours and hours of recorded interviews with MPs, ministers, staffers, former bureaucrats and members of the Bennelong community".
"The source material for this book is extensive, comprehensive and significant," she told the Herald. Ms McKew said the book was primarily about her experiences, including an extensive look at the events in the lead-up to Mr Rudd's ouster, including how the original mining tax unravelled under pressure from the mining sector.
"Winners get to write the first draft of history. What I'm writing is an important second draft."
She said the book was not a hagiography. "There will be parts of the book that Rudd doesn't like."
Mr Rudd was one of many Ms McKew interviewed.
His detractors say he has a habit of inserting himself in the media cycle either when Ms Gillard is doing well, or is overseas, as she was this week. His key supporters no longer deny there is a strategy involved.
"He's out there keeping his profile up, reminding people how popular he is. Everyone in the caucus will make up their mind," said one.
Another said: "He's making points which will resonate with the electorate and just remind everybody that this is the bloke that will get us across the line."
The headline on the original version of this story incorrectly said he was "counting numbers". As the story made clear, Mr Rudd's supporters acknowledge he is repositioning himself for the leadership but insist there will be no challenge to Julia Gillard.