David Cameron made headlines today after an interview with Shortlist magazine, in which he enthusiastically went for the "I'm just a regular guy" approach favoured by Tony Blair.
Hot on the heels of Gordon Brown's interview with Piers Morgan, does this signal a new line of competition? One along the lines of: "Forget policy; let's just see how many mundane details of your daily routine you can share."
Here are some highlights from Dave's interview:
"Along with draught Guinness in cans, Sky+ is one of the great inventions of our time."
"I have been known to go a bit soft on Lark Rise to Candleford, but normally [I watch] quite gritty dramas and movies."
"I don't have image consultants; I don't have too many minders. Obviously, I've got a team of people who help me with everything, but family time is family time."
"Genuinely, I do my own shopping and cook my own food, and all those things that you do as a family dad."
"When I'm writing a speech for myself, or think about what I'm trying to say, I try to think about it in the way that comes most naturally to me to say it. So when I think of the big conference speech I did without the notes, I didn't learn that. I wrote down the things I wanted to say. I thought about it a lot. I went through it in my head a lot and then I made the speech. It wasn't memorised. I couldn't memorise that, I'm not a Shakespearean actor, I couldn't memorise an hour-and-ten-minute-long speech." [NB. I think he wants to emphasise that he didn't memorise it.]
Disappointingly, Gordon Brown didn't get as far as telling us what he watches on telly and how much he loves sports and booze, but -- not to be outdone -- he did pre-empt Cameron by sharing some details about where he buys his food:
"It's very funny, we order [food] from the internet and Sarah orders from Downing Street. And the first days that I was in the job of Prime Minister and Sarah started to order from one of the supermarkets they wouldn't send it. They thought it was a joke. They didn't believe it. So I don't go much to the supermarket."
"The greatest perk for me is that you're living in a building where you can both work and see your family."
But how do these two compare to Tony Blair, arguably the master of the "relaxed" soundbite:
"Call me Tony." [On being elected, 1997]
"I think most people who have dealt with me think I am a pretty straight sort of guy, and I am." [Speaking on On the Record after the Formula One issue, November 1997]
''We're very close as a family, but I think you'd be surprised to know just how completely normal our family life is. I mean, I do the same things, more or less, as any bloke does with his kids.'' [Speaking to the New York Times in 2000]
Conclusion? Blair still takes the biscuit, but Cameron is certainly giving him a run for his money. With his emphasis on getting rid of spin, minders and, er, speech-notes, his underlying message seems to be: "I'm so normal that I can even out-normal Blair, who wasn't that normal a guy, really, because he put so much effort into sounding normal . . . not like me."
Watch this space for the inevitable "Call me Dave".