Malcolm Turnbull finally had some clear air and he was ready to crow.
"This is going to be a year of delivery," he told an expectant coalition party room in MPs' first meeting back in Canberra in 2018.
There will be a delivery - in April, when Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce's baby he is expecting with a former staffer arrives.
The controversy was the talk of Canberra behind the scenes.
Multiple media outlets had approached the Nationals leader asking about the upcoming birth and his new relationship, but they had all been rebuffed.
Instead the story dropped in the middle of what had until then been a strong week for the prime minister.
The first Newspoll of the year showed an improvement in the two-party preferred vote, and Turnbull extended his lead as preferred prime minister over Bill Shorten.
The Labor leader is facing battles on two other fronts.
The Greens are a strong chance to win the Batman by-election in Melbourne after David Feeney resigned due to questions over his citizenship, and they are pressuring Shorten to take a position on the Adani coal mine in Queensland.
Newspoll also revealed voters pegged Shorten as the third-best Labor leader, behind Tanya Plibersek and Anthony Albanese.
Plibersek played down suggestions of leadership tension, saying Labor had "learned our lesson" during the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd days.
"I don't think there's anybody on our side who would tolerate any sort of bad behaviour or destabilising," she told Sky.
"Bill will lead us to the next election."
But Albanese wouldn't be drawn on whether he should replace Shorten.
"He's the captain of the team. Tanya Plibersek's vice-captain. I'm the half back," he told Adelaide radio.
Labor is still ahead in the polls and it would take something "extraordinary" to happen for Shorten not to lead the party to the next election.
But extraordinary things sometimes happen - as Joyce knows.
It's all been adding up for Turnbull.
He got a new addition to the Liberal team, with former Family First Senator Lucy Gichuhi joining the party in part because of her shared "Liberal values".
The economy delivered a record job creation year in 2017, with 403,000 new jobs added - beating anything from the Howard years.
"There is an air of confidence. We're seeing strong economic growth and we're seeing that jobs growth," the prime minister told his MPs.
"Over 1100 jobs a day, it is the largest jobs growth in any year since records began, and that is because of confidence, of investment, of small and medium family-owned Australian businesses having a go."
What's he's not seeing is wages growth.
Profits are up but wages are stagnating, giving Labor a clearly defined battleground in an industrial framework Shorten knows very well - because he helped set it up.
The Labor leader is relying on employers continuing to dud Australians as rising power prices, house prices, private health insurance premiums and income tax bracket creep keep his message at the forefront of people's minds.
The government has suggested employers take the lead and hand over their tax cuts as wage increases - but a suggestion doesn't quite have the same force as an iron-clad law.
The coalition has been reluctant to play around with industrial relations after Work Choices, and it seems unlikely they will want to make changes to force employers to hand over more money.
But delivering money back into people's pockets could go a long way to helping the coalition close its poll gap even further.
"Welcome back to Canberra. Let's get on with the leadership that Australia needs, and is delivering the opportunities Australians deserve," Turnbull told his party.
Expectant Australians can start preparing for those deliveries any day now.