I guess we could call Badawi an Accidental Prime Minister as he was carefully selected by his predecessor to be a "PM on strings" to be manipulated so that the latter could continue his control by proxy.
But surprisingly Badawi decided to do a few things his way and maybe the problems were simply too complex to unravel.
So most Malaysians will heave a sigh of relief that he has finally made the decision not to contest in the UMNO elections as described in this malaysiakini article PM not contesting, to quit in March.
It should be interesting to see if anyone else decides to contest the UMNO President's post as being the Deputy President is no guarantee that one will be automatically be given the DPM's post.
Nowadays UMNO will need to make more concessions to the other BN parties or it will not be able to form the government.
I guess this resignation is a victory of sorts for PAKATAN - this is the first time a Prime Minister has to retire early as a result of poor elections results.