James Graham bluntly put to Chris Huhne this evening the scenario whereby the LibDems elect Chris as leader and the subsequent press narrative is:
"Those silly LibDems reject the Great Messiah who we (the press) told them to elect and preversely chose the greying, economist who can't communicate".
Chris responded by pointing out that journalism has built-in balancing. Someone will write a story to challenge the conventional wisdom. For example, Jackie Ashley, in the Guardian this week, wrote about women voters:
Nor are women voters suckers for the pretty ones. Blair was the ultimate pretty one and by the end of his term women were, overall, much more hostile to his record than men. In today's politics, David Cameron is the natural new-man charmer and yet, throughout his leadership, the proportion of women who admire him has generally been below 30%. He does better with men. So Nick Clegg is not perhaps such an obvious winner for the Lib Dems as we have assumed.
Chris pointed out that Blair, the ultimate pretty boy, was superficial and didn't deliver, as seen when he made a sweeping rhetorical statement on the environment in New York while at home his goverment was all over the shop on green issues - decreasing green taxes, building houses on flood plains etc etc.