With the election campaign less than four days old, it is developing into the most presidential of modern times. In some ways this is not surprising, as the introduction of TV debates between the party leaders almost guarantees it will take on a presidential mood. But the media seem totally uninterested in reporting any event unless it involves one of the three party leaders. If Cameron, Brown or Clegg aren't appearing, there isn't a camera or microphone in sight. Perhaps the three party organisations want it that way, but there are many downsides to this approach.
Firstly, it puts a huge burden on Brown, Cameron and Clegg. Very few people would have the stamina to withstand this daily level of activity, with no time for rest or thought or proper preparation.
Secondly, it shortchanges the electorate who deserve a wider discussion of policy issues. Governments are not one man teams - or at least, good governments aren't. The Conservatives in particular need to find ways of showcasing the talent on their front bench. Media friendly faces need to be pushed to the fore. This shouldn't be done by means of horrible stunts which guarantee the presence of cameras.
The Liberal Democrat campaign has so far just concentrated on attacks on the other parties- mainly the Conservatives. They have hardly mentioned their own policies. If you think that's just me being partisan take a look at this word cloud, created from speeches made by Nick Clegg.
You can see the equivalent word clouds for Brown and Cameron HERE. The two key words in Brown's speeches are "British" and "People". Cameron's are "Country" and "Change". The fact that Clegg's two favourite words are "Labour" and "Conservative" says it all. However, perhaps we should ask if this is part of a deliberate strategy.
Interestingly, despite "Brown" featuring in the Clegg Word Cloud, there's not a single mention of Cameron in his speeches. That cannot be a coincidence and has to be a deliberate policy.
There's no doubt that Clegg has had a good week in terms of the amount of coverage he has attracted. Perhaps they have decided the only way they can get quantity of coverage is at the expense of quality - and attacking the other two parties gets the media juices flowing.
I can't think of a single new policy the LibDems have come up with this week. In fact, I can't think of any new Labour ones either. This week has been dominated by the Tory NI proposal and their ideas on creating a National Community Service.
And that is why the Conservatives have led the agenda for the first three days of the campaign. And I don't think you have to be a Conservative to acknowledge that.