Thursday, January 19, 2017

Mike Baird resignation: Family's health issues came at a 'strong personal cost'

This time last year opinion polls showed New South Wales Premier Mike Baird was the most popular politician in the country — but what a difference a year makes.

Baird unexpectedly posted a statement on his personal Twitter page on Thursday morning, saying a new state leader would be voted in next week during a Liberal party-room meeting.
"In my maiden speech, I spoke about wanting to come into public life to make a difference. I was frustrated by what I saw - a lack of action - and I was determined to try and get things done," Baird told a press conference on Thursday morning.
"I said many times I didn't want to become a career politician - I wanted to go as hard as I could for as long as I could and then step aside. Well, today, I am making good on that pledge."

After announcing his shock retirement this morning, Mike Baird revealed his family’s health issues  placed enormous strain on an already-public life. The devoted family man teared up after mentioning that both his parents and his sister have suffered health problems throughout his term as premier.
Mr Baird’s sister Julia, journalist and host of ABC’s The Drum, revealed in 2015 she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, and has since had a recurrence.
Mike Baird resignation: Family's health issues came at a 'strong personal cost'

He was a politician widely regarded as a decent human being wanting to do “the right thing”, guided by his personal religious faith and often acting at odds with the hardnosed image of his past career as an investment banker by quietly lending personal support to disadvantaged youth. But Baird never seemed to grasp that the art of politics is about persuasion.
There was a moment of heartfelt reflection — a confession of sorts — that provided valuable insight into Mike Baird’s shock resignation as NSW Premier.
It came almost 18 minutes into his lengthy press conference in Sydney yesterday as Baird tried to explain to a surprised media pack, and to voters, the urgent need to “refresh” his government. This was a “reset”, as he put it, in which he would play no part.
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