Lib Dem activists suggest that Clegg's position could still come under threat if the party finishes fourth or fifth in next year's European elections.
After publicly disagreeing over the danger of a new housing bubble, the Lib Dem pair find themselves at odds over the end of the coalition.
Lib Dem delegates voted by a majority of just four (224-220) not to pledge to reintroduce the 50p rate as Clegg and Farron divided.
The Lib Dem leader could face defeat this afternoon after he argues against changing "one very specific symbolic tax rate" in opposition to the party president.
With Cable planning to stay away from the key Lib Dem conference vote on the economy, Clegg says: "I don't run a bootcamp, I don't tell people when they have to turn up for a meeting."
The deputy PM was due to say "I know that some people in our party don’t like us being too nasty to Labour" after the Lib Dem president said he didn't want to "diss" Ed Miliband.
Campbell tells Cable "don't be quite so gloomy" and Ashdown says that Clegg's enemy Lord Oakeshott is "Vince’s problem".
Osbornomics, tuition fees, Trident, the 50p tax rate, nuclear power. Whatever you think of the Lib Dems, you can’t say we hide our debates away.
Even on a generous reading, the party is still on course to lose nearly half of its 57 seats.
Lib Dem strategists are brimming with gratitude to the two big parties for making single-party government seem an unattractive proposition.