I ended up watching most of the Tory leadership candidate TV debate. The tag of David Cameron as ‘heir to Blair’ is almost spookily accurate. Not only does he have the same dewy eyes and the same tendency to talk in vacuous abstractions, he has the same slightly stiff body language. David Davis seemed more natural, talked far more in facts and policies and less in generalities, and seemed like a competent, intelligent bloke.
But Cameron also shares with Blair the slightly mysterious magnetism which attracts the camera, draws the attention of the audience, and almost makes you lose track of what he’s actually saying in favour of the way he’s saying it. It is the voice, or the body language, or the face? I’d be interested to know whether it works in person or if it’s just a telegenic thing. Either way, he has a bit of the star quality which the Tories have been badly lacking for some time. He’s not quite in the Clinton/Mandela/Beckham league of charisma, but he could be what the Conservatives need.
None of which says anything about his competence to run the country, of course.