Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni - Jan. 18, 2012
Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni Photo by Nir Keidar
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The way things look today, Tzipi Livni and Shaul Mofaz are contending for the post of captain of the Costa Concordia. They are vying for the dubious pleasure of navigating the Kadima ship in the next elections toward the rock called Yair Lapid.

Public opinion surveys held following Lapid's entry into politics predicted a painful crash for Kadima. But surveys held long before Lapid left the Channel 2 anchorman's armchair did not bode well for Kadima either. So the party's problem is not only Lapid, but three years of disappointing performance, weak leadership, internal strife and wacky Knesset members.

Livni, who caved in to faction members' pressure and rescheduled primary elections for March 27, is not blind to her constituents' sentiments. In private talks she admits she failed to manage the faction, abandoned her supporters and and did not do enough to block legislation that was contrary to her ideology. In brief, she opted to hug rather than lead.

Now she promises to change. If she beats Mofaz again, she will show him and anyone else who undermines her leadership the way out. There are six of them in Mofaz's faction, including Avi Dichter, who on Wednesday said he may leave the party if Livni is elected its leader again.

One thing is clear. On the morning of March 28 Kadima will be different. With Livni leading it, but without Mofaz, Dichter and others. Or with Mofaz at its head, but without Livni, Haim Ramon and perhaps without Roni Bar-On.

The primaries will be dirty and merciless. All the disgust, hatred and contempt between Livni and Mofaz are waiting to explode. In recent weeks he has already been firing in all directions. She hasn't started yet.