Mischievous talk at Lib Dem HQ after Nick Clegg’s debate triumph. Word has it that Vince Cable, who has been on Mr Clegg’s right shoulder since the start of the campaign, is not quite as thrilled as some about the leader’s new found status as Britain’s Obama. One Lib Dem insider goes so far as to suggest the party’s would-be chancellor in any post-election coalition is a touch miffed about all the plaudits now being heaped on Mr Clegg. The media’s love affair with the sainted Vince has cooled as a consequence, and Mr Clegg may now decide he can go it alone on the campaign trail.
I am sure all this is just gossip, but there is a serious point. The power balance in the party has shifted decisively. No longer is the leader a callow youth relying on the wisdom and experience of a more popular colleague. Mr Clegg is now his own man. I suspect Mr Cable may not be alone in the Lib Dem team in having mixed feelings. But that’s politics.