Miliband and Clegg are ready to sign up to three debates over three weeks. They say Cameron is running scared.
Part of the problem is that even Labour MPs find their boss remote.
The PM's warning that means-testing pensioner benefits would raise only "a very small amount of money" was the most notable moment in a sombre session.
Many in the party would like Miliband to pledge to raise the minimum wage to the level of the living wage, but a large rise in the former is more likely.
Having distanced himself from neo-liberalism, Ed Miliband needs to redefine British social democracy as more participative, more socially liberal, and more community-focused.
Twenty years ago, John Prescott persuaded sceptical delegates to back John Smith's trade union reforms, but who will fulfil this role for Miliband at March's special conference?
The Labour leader emphasises his long-term plan to reform capitalism in an attempt to rebut the charge that he is too focused on short-term measures.
Both men are failing to articulate a vision that says more about what kind of country Britain should become than about what it has been.
The Labour leader's pledge to give councils the power to act against the "crack cocaine of gambling" will increase the pressure on the PM to intervene.