The inconclusive results of elections two weeks ago have people wondering out loud for the first time what a post-Netanyahu Israel might look like, surveying the political field in the hope of crowning an obvious successor to the embattled prime minister. While it’s possible that this successor will emerge from the prime minister’s own Likud party, many pundits have also included the likes of former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked in their list of potential candidates. Yet what should have been one of the biggest stories of this cycle, has been—perhaps unsurprisingly—ignored in favor of round the clock speculation regarding Netanyau’s fate. As a result, few have been paying attention to Shaked’s subtle fall from grace, a figure whose fortunes seem to have shifted just as quickly as those of the prime minister’s.

For years following her entry into politics, media outlets (mostly foreign) predicted the rise of Shaked from political upstart to future premier. Even at the start of her career with Habayit Hayehudi, Shaked punched well above her weight; Chairman Naftali Bennett understood the benefit of presenting someone with her secular and urbanite background as the party’s poster child, awarding her a lion’s share of media coverage in 2013. She quickly rose to the number three spot in the 2015 primaries, and, despite seeing the party contract by four mandates, her maneuvering won her the role of justice minister, a role she relished and used to strike fear into the hearts of liberal Israelis who valued the role of the courts. When the pair realized that the more overtly extreme members of their party were weighing them down, they established Hayamin Hehadash, hoping to create a space for both all right-wing nationalist Israelis, both secular and religious. And when Hayamin Hehadash failed to enter the Knesset this April, the duo immediately jumped at the opportunity to push for a union of all religious nationalist parties, Bennett ceding leadership to Shaked because of her apparent following. Yet this seemingly benign telling of Shaked’s precedent-breaking ascent leaves out a number of unfortunate decisions as well as mistakenly inflating her popularity.

It would be unfair, of course, to simply ignore Shaked’s assiduousness and intelligence as contributing factors in her success. However, despite the image she seeks to project of politician with a killer instinct, Shaked has proven herself a clumsy operator whose good fortune should sometimes be attributed to being in the right place at the right time. It’s certainly true that Habayit Hayehudi would have received at least one portfolio given the prime minister’s need for them in his coalition in 2015, yet had it not been for Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Liberman’s last minute decision to sit in the opposition, it’s highly unlikely Shaked would have been awarded such a coveted position.

Once placed in the justice minister role, Shaked tried her hardest in pursuit of achieving her much-vaunted judicial counter-revolution in order to weaken the courts, facing what seemed to her to be a surprising amount of pushback from the Ministry of Justice. Yet ultimately, her long-held campaign promises to make the courts subservient to the Knesset failed to come to fruition. Likewise, Shaked’s return to the political scene may very well have been put on hiatus for a number of years had it not been, yet again, for Liberman’s machinations and vindictive streak targeting the prime minister. Without a second election in 2019, Shaked would have lacked an immediate route back into national politics.

Even before April’s elections, Shaked displayed poor decision making and an overestimation of her popularity when she and Bennett split from Habayit Hayehudi in order to distance themselves from problematic figures like Bezalel Smotrich. The shock of seeing her party fail to enter the Knesset—albeit by the thinnest of margins—was no doubt jolting, but should have acted as something of a wakeup call to those, Shaked included, who had convinced themselves of her abundant political worth. The decision to then ally with the very same politicians she and Bennett had shunned (while also subtly courting even more unsavory characters) may have guaranteed Shaked a place in the next Knesset, but it made her appear incredibly cynical, and did not lead to the resurgence of support for her political bloc many had assumed would come about with her officially at the reins.

The narrative that Netanyahu’s campaign onslaught against Shaked and Bennett played a large role in pushing the pair under the electoral threshold in April has also been debunked when one considers the dismal showing for Yamina, the union of three right-wing religious nationalist parties that together won a paltry seven mandates. This result was especially humiliating considering early polls predicted up to 13 seats, as well as Bennett’s decision to award Shaked the leadership role to broaden voter appeal. And it did not auger particularly well  for Shaked’s future when, upon seeing the exit polls, the union broke off into its constituent parts and she returned to her initial place as Bennett’s second in command.  If one is then to break down the allotment of seats given to each party, Shaked and Bennett’s subsection of Yamina sit at a mere three mandates, a stark confirmation that perhaps the duo’s defeat in April had less to do with the prime minister’s grudge than they cared to admit.

Nor can it be argued that attacks by the prime minister ultimately lead to a subtraction of votes; for the most part, Shaked and her cohorts did not bear the brunt of Netanyahu’s anger this time around. Netanyahu’s bete noir was ultimately current kingmaker Liberman, leaving other small right-wing parties relatively unmolested. Yet Liberman’s willingness to go toe to toe with Netanyahu and challenge him on matters of religion and state did not only not harm him, it also delivered him an extra three mandates, proving that, in the right hands, such ire could actually be beneficial to one’s campaign.

It is always unwise in the world of Israeli politics to write off politicians who fare poorly as spent forces. The graveyard may be full of people who thought they were irreplaceable, but those same figures have had a tendency, time and again, to claw their way out of their plots. Even with a small number of mandates at her disposal, Shaked could yet find herself awarded a disproportionate amount of power in the future in building a coalition.  Nonetheless, it’s difficult to imagine her at this point in time posing a true threat to whomever claims the Likud leadership mantle after Netanyahu. Shaked’s current legacy recalls Shimon Peres’ famous quote about polls and perfume; a prime example of buying one’s hype and failing to deliver.