On arguably his most difficult day as NSW premier, Mike Baird stood up and declared of his decision to ban greyhound racing in NSW: "I was wrong."
It was an extraordinary admission from a man who was until recently one of Australia's most popular politicians and whose success has stemmed from decisions made on principle, regardless of the politics.
But dire circumstances call for extreme measures. Baird's popularity is no longer what it was due to recent health scandals and a string of controversial decisions, including on council amalgamations and rising opposition to lock-out laws.
Faced with the choice between sticking to his guns in the face of an industry campaign fanned by sections of the media – with no immediate end in sight – or taking a personal hit, Baird opted for the latter.
In the short term, doing so is likely to neutralise an issue that had been stealing all of the government's airtime in recent months and has given Luke Foley's Labor opposition a cause to champion.
Baird and his ministers can now get on with talking up the government's economic and infrastructure achievements.
The longer-term effect is harder to determine, but it is hard to see how Baird's popularity can't take a further hit.
Greyhounds wasn't the reason for his declining popularity; it was just another angry section of the NSW community adding its two cents.
What is certain is that the decision has introduced a new political risk: having committed to clean up, not ban, an industry accused of live baiting and brutally disposing of tens of thousands of dogs, his credibility is seriously on the line.
Failure to do so would be failure squared – a position from which no amount of mea culpas can possibly extract him.
Additionally, Baird's explanation for his back down – that the government had "listened to the community" – will ring hollow to many, given the three months he has spent defending the ban as "the right decision".
The Premier is fond of saying he makes decisions in the long-term interests of the people of NSW, but it's fairly clear this one was made with the long-term interests of the government in mind.
Asked on Tuesday how the electorate can believe he will stick with anything he commits to in the future if enough noise is made against it, he responded: "Ultimately, that's something for you to judge".
The electorate will be able to bring its judgment in a little over two years time, in March 2019.