Last night, Clegg attempted to counter Paxman by questioning his entire method as Cameron famously did during the Tory leadership race in 2005. Clegg repeatedly told Paxman you can sneer if you like and tried to dismiss him as an old cynic. The result was, at best, a score draw—you can watch the exchange here. Now, compare that to Cameron’s performance back in 2005—available here—and you’ll see how much better Cameron did than Clegg.
Being the ‘heir to Blair’ has worked for Cameron in presentational terms because Blair has left the stage. The problem for Clegg is that he’s offering a Lib-Dem own brand version of a product that is already established in the political market-place and will be on offer at the next election. It is hard to see this as a recipe for vastly increasing the Lib-Dem’s market share.