David Miliband - quitting the Shadow Cabinet but staying as MP for South Shields
How soon a political trajectory can change.
Seven days ago, most people were expecting this to be David Miliband's biggest week in politics.
Now it could well prove to be his last - at least in the front line.
As the hours have ticked by since Saturday, it's become increasingly obvious how difficult life would have been for him and his brother had he chosen to serve in the Shadow Cabinet.
I've never thought there were huge ideological differences between the Miliband brothers.
But there was enough for every nuance of their behaviour to be studied both now and in the future.
He says he just raised a wry eyebrow and it's been overblown.
But could David Miliband really have stomached taking orders from Brother Ed, and if not, would we have seen dangerous splits and disunity?
Better then to step away, even if it deprives Labour of one of their big hitters.
David Miliband shows his frustration as he asks why Harriet Harman is clapping
He has looked empty-eyed to me over the last few days, despite his initial graciousness in defeat.
He is clearly angry that his brother has managed to exploit issues that he couldn't.
But his mind may also be full of what ifs.
What if I'd challenged Gordon Brown in 2008, what if I'd followed James Purnell out of the Cabinet? Would I now be Labour leader or even Prime Minister?
What if I'd trashed some of New Labour's past? Might I have looked hypocritical, but might I also have won?
So David Miliband then will become purely the MP for South Shields.
He says the support of people in his constituency has been a source of strength through the leadership campaign (though his local opponents question the amount of time he actually spends in Shields).
The question is how long will he stay as the town's MP now?
For the moment, I'm sure he and his wife Louise will relish a break, and some time to draw breath.
But it's impossible to imagine that someone with the intellect, skills and contacts of David Miliband will not find a new sinecure soon.
There are no obvious jobs out there, but he is someone with an international as well as domestic profile.
Some say he might yet come back to lead the Labour party.
It's possible, but it seems unlikely, and strained as his fraternal relationship may now be, I'm sure he doesn't wish to see his brother fail.
And would he and his family be willing to go through another leadership election after such a bruising experience?
His moment then may have gone.
I can't claim to know David Miliband well, but during the time I've spent in his company, he's struck me as genuine and human, and not the nerdy robot he's sometimes characterised as.
Keenly ambitious, certainly, prone perhaps even to occasional arrogance, but a paid-up member of the human race, who won over a local party that he was parachuted into in 2001.
Perhaps he didn't have the common touch and persuasive skills of Tony Blair, but then few are blessed with that.
He certainly would have been a capable and formidable leader of the Labour party.
And what of that party?
One tweet from the Conference in Manchester amused me this morning. One delegate was reported to have said: "We seem to have elected Danni (Minogue) not Kylie."
Harsh perhaps, but there will now be even more onus on Ed to prove the party did elect the right Miliband.
We've also learned that Newcastle East MP Nick Brown will be leaving the Shadow Cabinet.
The veteran of the Blair and Brown Cabinets is clearly not part of the "new generation" as he announced his decision to step down after a meeting with Ed Miliband earlier today.
In a letter to the new leader he said: "As you know I intended to stand for election as chief whip.
"During our meeting earlier today you indicated that you wished me not to do so. The Chief Whip must have the full confidence of the party leader. I fully respect your wishes and will no longer be standing for the position."
As one of Gordon Brown's most loyal lieutenants, Nick Brown was clearly too associated with the past for Ed Miliband.
Nick Brown is due to be on the Politics Show this Sunday. I'll be interested to hear his take on the week.