Mahathir has been trying very hard to oust Abdullah Ahmad Badawi from the presidency of UMNO because of the obvious reasons we all know of.
However, UMNO and BN machinery is too strong and the award of contracts and other underhand tactics being the norm to secure votes, it looks like the nationwide tour by Mahathir may not be producing desired results when it matters.
The culture of UMNO makes it difficult for the non-incumbent. The incumbent holds all the power to persuade and dissuade.
If worse comes to worse, there is only one way do unseat the president. However, this requires great sacrifice from Mahathir. All of this could take place in the coming general election.
Mahathir would have to challenge AAB to a showdown - a contest in the same constituency in a neutral ground. Mahathir would of course have to leave UMNO.
We are not sure if AAB would be brave enough to accept the challenge. My guess is that he would decline it flatly, citing some other reasons other than fear of losing to Mahathir.
If Mahathir wins, then he could teoretically rejoin UMNO. AAB may still be the president of UMNO, however, he would not be able to continue as PM. He will undoubtedly remove himself from the top post because of the obvious.
If AAB wins, then Mahathir loses everything within UMNO just like Dato Onn Jaafar.
Too great a sacrifice? You be the judge.