Mark Latham vowed to get off the public stage when he quit the Labor leadership nearly 14 years ago, but has spectacularly failed to keep that promise.
He is teasing about a political comeback, revealing he has been asked by four parties to consider a Senate run, but refusing to say whether he would accept any of the offers from people he won't name.
In his infamous diaries, Mr Latham wrote that his experience in politics was "so bad, it helped me move on straight away, to make a clean break from politics".
But within a few years, he was back — looming over Julia Gillard in his temporary role as a guest journalist on commercial TV.
Pursuing Ms Gillard during the 2010 election campaign showed his 2005 claim to be "stepping off the television screen and leaving it all behind" was an empty one.
And Mr Latham is still on TV.
Today he used his regular breakfast slot on Channel Seven to brag that he had been approached to contest the Senate for four different political parties.
He refused to reveal which parties.
"They want to be associated with me, they should have their privacy defended," he said.
Mr Latham's potential political comeback is being kicked around because of rumours that Pauline Hanson wants to recruit him to lead her New South Wales Senate ticket.
He laughed off the direct question about whether he was approached by Senator Hanson or One Nation.
"I have given you as much information as I can, in all fairness," he said, then teased a bit more about how "flattering" he found it.
"I've got these people all over me."
One Nation turmoil is driving the Latham speculation, with Pauline Hanson tearfully accusing Senator Brian Burston of stabbing her in the back.
Mr Latham made a calculated decision to keep the speculation alive by giving what he called a "non-denial denial".
"I'm considering all these options, it is very very flattering," he told Channel Seven.If not One Nation, maybe the Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democratic Party is the most recent one Mr Latham is known to have joined.
He announced he had signed up with the Liberal Democrats last year.
That prompted Labor to reveal it would never let him rejoin the ALP, although it is all but unthinkable he would try, given that he wrote in those revealing diaries: "I'm leaving that sick political party and its assassins behind."
The Liberal Democrats already have David Leyonhjelm as their senator from NSW, raising questions about whether they are seriously courting Mr Latham as a candidate.
He has not ruled out that One Nation is among those bidding for his candidacy.
If he was to accept, it would be a fundamental shift in the power dynamic of a party that exists almost entirely because of its leader, Senator Hanson.
But it would also be the ultimate rejection of his own pledge to escape political life.
"A normal life lies ahead, that's what I said in my statement and I meant it," he said when he quit Parliament.
The simplest way for Mr Latham to keep faith with that is to reject the approaches he says he has received.Getting back in the ring with the 'dancing bears'
The next Senate election will be contested under the rules that make it more challenging for the minor parties to win a spot.
High-profile parties like One Nation will have a reasonable chance, but it will be much harder for other small parties to be elected.
That could tempt Mr Latham to consider Senator Hanson's party, despite it being so fraught with allegations of betrayal and mistrust.
He left open the option, telling the morning TV audience the country was headed in the wrong direction and "someone's got to get involved".
If Mark Latham decides he is that someone, he will have to confront his long-standing distaste for journalists — or the "dancing bears in the media", as he has labelled reporters before.
A minor party would provide him with few if any elected colleagues, which might suit him well.
But as Mr Latham wrote dismissively in his diaries, while still leader of the Labor Party:
"Sod them all."