Its worth remembering that even when he was elected Labor leader (again) in January 2005, Beazley was there primarily to steady things after the instability of the Latham era, and not to contest the next election. There was a good reason for him stepping down after the 2001 election - he was tired, people were bored with him, and he had two electoral losses to his name - and these things all held true in 2005.
The plan at the time was for Beazley to settle things down and then allow one of Latham's generation to assume the leadership close to the next election. Ideally, this would have happened earlier, probably at this time last year, but the absense of a clear successor to Beazley until now meant that it didn't happen.
Surely Beazley was aware that the party had turned to him as a boring-but-stable option, and that he wasn't the right option in the long term. Somehow he got a little too comfortable in the leader's chair.
So long, Bomber, but you always knew it was coming.
Rudd meets with the Labor caucus
UPDATE 4/12, 5:05pm: Do I win a prize?