Cory Bernardi knew all along.
Before nine on Wednesday morning, the Liberal senator, who is on secondment to the United Nations in New York, sent a message to a journalist with his prediction: "Trump is going to win."
His colleagues were not so sure.
Ever the diplomat, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop was trying to be even-handed when she was stopped by reporters about the same time.
Of course, she would be "watching closely" as results started to come in, but it was really too early to say anything, she stressed.
Bishop allowed herself to briefly entertain the possibility that a woman might break through the highest glass ceiling in international politics.
"Of course, if Hillary Clinton is elected president she will be the first woman to hold this significant global position, and that would be a cause for celebration for women around the world," Bishop said.
Back in the office, the Foreign Minister stayed in constant contact with Australia's embassy officials in Washington, DC.
Australia's ambassador to Washington, Joe Hockey, was hosting an election day party sponsored by Rio Tinto. He wore a blue V-necked jumper, although the colour choice was unlikely to be a covert sign that he was "with her".
In Canberra, it was a strange atmosphere in the corridors of Parliament House as the morning wore on.
The business of government continued.
Legislation was debated and political points were scored. But it all felt a bit half-hearted.
When question time began at 2pm, the Trump presidency seemed more than likely.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Bishop were more than usually glued to their phones.
About halfway through, Bishop moved from the front bench to the seat next to Turnbull at the dispatch box to consider the increasing tide of red that was creeping across the map of the United States.
Both had been diligent in their comments about how they would deal with a Trump presidency, but their faces did not convey any sense of joy in the election outcome; they seemed as shocked as the rest of Australia.
Not so Queensland backbencher George Christensen, who had a copy of Trump's book How to Get Rich prominently displayed on his desk. His smile was broad as he exited question time.
By 3pm it was apparent Trump was the President-elect.
The Prime Minister and Opposition Leader met staff to discuss what to say. For both men the message had to be clear and calm.
Turnbull did not have to worry about his previous statements; all he needed to do was offer assurance to a population not convinced that a Trump presidency was really happening.
In Bill Shorten's office the conversation was different. There was the "barking mad" comment to deal with. Should an apology be offered now that the target was the most powerful man in the world?
Labor advisers say that was never considered. They decided not to repeat the phrase but not to back away from the sentiment.
"I don't apologise for calling it as I see it - I will always do that," Shorten said at a function in the swanky inner-city Canberra suburb of Manuka later that evening.
This was an approach also on display in Shorten's statement to Parliament on Thursday.
Given Shorten's strategy is to constantly remind people that Turnbullis a prime minister in Tony Abbott's clothing, he could not very well pretend he had not said what he did.
Besides, his staff reasoned, most Australians probably agreed with Shorten.
They pointed to a Buzzfeed story saying that Shorten must regret his comments. The comments below the story were largely in favour of Shorten's position.
Shortly after 4pm, Bishop was sent up to the press gallery to provide the government's first lines on the Trump presidency. She sailed through the corridors in a bright, Republican red jacket.
Pauline Hanson's One Nation senators approached things differently.
With a bottle of Champagne in hand they strode triumphantly to the forecourt of Parliament House to celebrate.
As they popped the cork, Hanson declared she was "so excited" and "so happy about it because this is putting out a clear message to everyone around the world that the [sic] people power is happening".
A couple of hours later, Turnbull was doing his best to soothe concerned Australians.
The morning after the night before and this was still the government's message.
When Turnbull and Bishop held a press conference at midday, the message was the same, but Bishop was no longer wearing Republican red. Her jacket was pure white – the same suffragette white worn by Clinton on all her most significant campaign stops.