LibDem stock is rising on the back of Cocky Clegg's single TV performance. Old Tucker Campbell has returned to fan the flames. The love-bombing is a flash in the pan. But will normal service be resumed shortly?
The media is lovin' it. Partly because public schoolboy Clegg is loved by the media luvvies and part of the media class. And partly because the underdog makes a far better story.
And so the debate on the debate rages on. Fuelled by the latest swathe of opinion polls. Reporting of that debate resulted in a feeding frenzy with smug LibDems happy to be in the limelight and New Labour happy to big up Windbag Clegg to bury the bad news of Boring Brown.
Little Nick with his novelty act was crowned king of the show. Voodoo polls showed viewers were wowed by his performance. The media bigged up Clegg's big day with hyped-up Clegg mania. Part and parcel of bigging up the big event. Now the election is 'wide open' and there's 'everything to play for', making for a more exciting election storyline.
The TV 'debate' wasn't a game changer but the media reporting may be. The resulting chaos would be as much the fault of a fawning media chasing a story and headlines as it would an electorate sucked in by all the spin.
The skullduggery and spin of the Mandy and Campbell double act were quick off the mark in the debate spin. All part of the plan to take the heat off Brown and his dire performance. Talk up Clegg to bury dismal Brown's disaster.
But the Orange Party is now even more bemused. There's naive talk of "a three horse race", as if LibDems, with a current 63 seats, could somehow pull off mission impossible.
Tories are still winning. New Labour is still losing. The New Labour in-built electoral advantage means the result will be a Tory or New Labour seat victory. LibDems will scrape along the bottom, lucky to scrape by with 60 odd seats.
But it is exactly that hung parliament which makes the Calamity Clegg mania that more dangerous. Holding the balance of power without the mandate of being the single largest party.
There's something "exciting" happening in politics, declared smug Clegg, making the most of his bounce.
But the Orange Party suspects the Clegg bounce will be short-lived despite all the media hype, unless there's a seismic wave which keeps the LibDem bandwagon rolling. The old Tucker is trying his hardest to keep up pressure.
Adam Thorn at The News of the World notes how Campbell is up to his old Tucker tricks working the post debate spin "trying to dictate the media agenda while making you all believe he’s retired from frontline politics." New Labour ministers were trotting out the line Brown won on ‘substance’ and Clegg on ‘style’. Classic Mandy/Campbell spewed out by Blair-prop Johnson within minutes of the close of play.
Classic Campbell but all credit to him, if the media is daft enough to be duped and swallow that crap. The aim is to sear it on a gullible public mind and brand the nations with bullshit as part of the spin.
And it worked. Post debate dissection showed little serious reporting of how Brown bombed. Instead it was love-bombing Clegg and the old hung parliament narrative all the way.
Talk of a hung parliament suites beaten New Labour down to a tee. Spinning away during the phoney election campaign spurred on by a few dodgy polls but then finally dying a death. Now son of hung parliament is back to haunt the headlines, airways and twitchy money markets.
The media, which has whipped up Cleggmania, now owes it to voters big time. Resorting to reporting opinion polls is lazy journalism. Wishy-washy LibDems and Windbag Clegg's potty policies should be put under the same scrutiny as the media has given to the two main Westminster parties, instead off letting them get away with fudge and waffle.
Tories have their own cross to bear with UKIP and Euroboy Clegg makes an easy target. Despite the false snuggles and spin Brown, like all true Labour Party members, hisses the word 'Liberal' between gritted teeth.
LibDems, Social Democrats, New Labour have become interchangeable 'progressives'. Mix red, blue and yellow and you get brown. But New Labour has to wake up to the fact that it is the darn 'Liberals' who are the real thorn in the side of the Labour Party. Always have been, always will.
Top picture: Peter Brookes, The Times