JULY 1 is the date on which Labor's hopes are pinned. On that day, the government is confident the sky will not collapse when the carbon price comes into force and the voting public will start to receive compensation in their bank accounts.
On that day, it believes, its fortunes will turn around. Meantime, however, it will try to rebrand itself in the wake of the bloody Labor leadership battle.
''What you've got is a sense not just of clear air but that the fight is in our own hands,'' one of the government's chief tacticians said.
The government has plenty to talk about - the Gonski education review, a major skills package, the budget, the national disability insurance scheme, household compensation.
It must - if it is to have any hope of rebuilding its standing in the polls where its primary vote languishes in the low 30s.
In the final months of last year, the former Blair government spinmeister John McTernan joined Julia Gillard's office as communications director. His strategy was to keep the Prime Minister looking like the Prime Minister.
Gillard reduced media and public appearances, reserving them for important policy announcements and discussions and community engagement.
There was also a view that respect for the office of prime minister needed to be rebuilt after a year in which protesters had used terms such as witch and bitch to describe Gillard. Even Tony Abbott had to distance himself from some of the more vehement protests after the government argued he was contributing to the trashing of the office of prime minister.
The strategy was great in theory until a diabolical run of events straight after Christmas that forced Gillard into the public eye more than her tacticians would have liked - dumping the pokies deal with Andrew Wilkie, the Australia Day saga involving Aboriginal tent embassy protesters and the leadership battle.
The leadership vote last month was preceded by what was essentially a one week election campaign.
Now that the campaign is over, it's back to the business of government. The week of Parliament that immediately followed was all but swallowed up by the is-he/isn't-he tale of Bob Carr's move to Canberra.
The press conference when his appointment was announced was supposed to be the political equivalent of Kimberley ripping off her wig in Melrose Place - a game changer. At the back of the press conference stood McTernan and Gillard's senior press secretary, Sean Kelly, both enjoying the sight of a jaded press pack genuinely surprised by their boss's move.
This week, the political coverage has been dominated by Wayne Swan's essay in The Monthly in which he ripped into mining magnates Clive Palmer, Gina Rinehart, Andrew Forrest and other powerful vested interests who put ''our proud egalitarian tradition'' in ''grave danger'' by bankrolling campaigns to influence policy.
The government couldn't be happier. Swan began thinking about the essay over Christmas when he read several pieces on the future of capitalism and the role powerful private interests were having on public policy in the United States.
''This is what the Labor Party stands for and these are the fights we should be having,'' Mr Swan told The Sun-Herald last week. ''There's been such a positive response - I'm getting stopped by lots of people who said they're really pleased I raised it and my office has been flooded with supportive calls.''
The fair go hash tag Mr Swan used in a Twitter discussion during the week trended well and did not get hijacked.
The only people who outraged by his remarks were the Opposition and the mining magnates themselves.
To paraphrase Anthony Albanese, the government is never happier than when it's fighting Tories.