Given the way in which Clarke's been unveiled to the press, it seems that the delicate management is in full swing already. Briefing the news on Sunday evening - before the rest of the reshuffle has been announced - has ensured that the standout recruit gets some prominent coverage. But the story's soon going to be swamped by news of today's banking bailout and tomorrow's inauguration of Barack Obama; which, in turn, means that any response from Labour - any 'Mandelson delighted to see return of Clarke' stories - won't have time to gain proper traction. I expect it will be an impossible task to quell all the 'Europhile Clarke' and 'Clarke the VAT cutter' mischief, but CCHQ's certainly made as good a start as possible.
As for the rest of the reshuffle, stay tuned to Coffee House for updates throughout the day.