They won't have been feeling so happy today. Cameron found the right tone this time, managing to patronise the Labour leader without sounding bullying. And Miliband's attempts to point to dissension within the cabinet (quoting Kenneth Clarke and Chris Huhne) were made to sound petty as a result.
Then came the Comprehensive Spending Review. George Osborne's approach, as one commentator said, was pure Gordon Brown. He bombarded the House with statistics. Before his listeners had time to consider a figure, they had been hit around the head with another six.
In his pomp Brown would appear before the Treasury Select Committee and not give them a chance to ask any questions. It was figures, figures, figures all the way. Osborne has not yet reached that level, and today he struggling to get through his speech as Iain Duncan Smith's frog had taken up residence in his throat.
And then came Alan Johnson. As a tweet from the Sunday Telegraph's Patrick Hennessy said:
AJ sounding a bit like Frankie Howerd - "Deficit? Oo-err missus" etc - but, amazingly, it's working!I am not convinced it did work, and it certainly won't do in the long run. Johnson is endearing, but he is no one's finance director. He is the boozy regional sales manager who is not always too careful with the paperwork.
All this is about personalities and not the ishoos, but the problem for Labour (and for dissident Liberal Democrats, come to that) is that they have not yet formulated any alternative economic policies. Osborne's claim that his cuts in departmental budgets are lower than those Alistair Darling would have made my be sharp practice, but it does make the point that a re-elected Labour government would have done something very like this.
So over to you, Mr Miliband.