As unlikely as it sounds (I mean really, George W Bush having anything in common with “Dave” Cameron?!), this actually makes a lot of sense…

The Times – We’ll keep the stars and stripes flying here, by Gerard Baker<br/> If we end up with a Cameron v Brown personality contest, the Americanisation of our politics will be complete

But the Blair team are thinking about another lesson from that era. It concerns the election campaign of 2000, when Al Gore lost to George W. Bush, ending eight years of centre-left administration. They wonder if Gordon Brown may turn out to be Tony Blair’s Al Gore; that is, the designated successor who is handed the conditions for an historic victory but fumbles badly.

The similarities are tempting. In 2000 the US economy was in healthy shape and the Democrats seemed to have finally escaped their capture by outdated tax-and-spend left-wingery. But Mr Gore, in an effort to establish a separate identity for himself from his overshadowing leader, took a left turn. He dropped the “New Democrat” mantra of inclusivity and moderation and started appealing to the party’s traditional class-warrior instincts with his “people against the powerful” campaign. Mr Gore, just like Mr Brown, was opposed on the hustings by a canny and rather charming moderate conservative emphasising compassion and trying to change the unappealing face of his party. He seemed to some a bit of an empty vessel, though his critics said he was a rigid rightwinger underneath the engaging façade.