But that is not how it looks to many people, other than his best friends. His allies complain that after almost seven years as Tory leader the public still has no clear idea of who the real David Cameron is beyond all the photo-opportunities. That is ironic. Voters didn't want another Blair. Cameron, who thought they did, presented himself as the young, dynamic, optimistic, family-oriented leader and expected it to work in 2010 as it had in 1997. He is a sincere and even-tempered fellow who just wants to be Prime Minister, but that — amid the crisis of capitalism and a collapse in public trust — is not enough.
A pragmatic Cameron clearly plans to ride out the current discontent, hoping that if the economy recovers sufficiently and Labour continues to fail to get its act together then that will suffice. Perhaps he is right. But I think the situation is worse than he or much of the political class currently thinks.
There is a raging hunger for authenticity. Cameron, for all his government's radical education and welfare reforms, seems too hedged in by the compromises of coalition and a reliance on the Blair playbook to respond to the challenge. Conservatives should not fool themselves into presuming they will automatically find the answer to what comes next. Perhaps a new leader from the Left — channelling populist anger — will emerge later in the decade to fill the vacuum instead. Many in Cameron's own party know that something is up and have started to think about what happens when he goes, probably midway through the next parliament. They won't be looking for the next "heir to Blair".
The danger for Cameron is that he looks as though he is living in an era — the age of Clinton, Blair and the War Room — that is already history. "You were the future once," he said to Blair across the Commons chamber. It was a good line at the time, but how long before a rival says the same of him?
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