In the course of an otherwise highly critical article of the Bottler in the Daily Mirror (ooh! warning bells!), Kevin Maguire, obviously unable to cast the Bottler adrift entirely, claims that with two-and-a-half years until the next election (assuming Gordo takes it to the wire, John Major style) there is 'plenty of time to recover' for the man who is 'still this era's greatest political strategist'.
Much like the similarly threadbare claim that the Bottler is 'our greatest-ever chancellor', so the idea that he is a formidably astute politician, biggest of the big brains, hatching schemes of Byzantine brilliance, is still occasionally trotted out.
I can explain it only by presuming that it is a testament to years of relentless Labour spin, the idea having been so firmly implanted it is proving all but impossible to erase.
But if the on-off election disaster of the autumn proved anything it is that, left to his own devices, the Bottler is a supremely inept strategist, 'clunking' in ways Blair clearly never meant.
How else to explain his transparently clumsy digging of a trap for his opponents into which, flailing, he promptly plunged? And which master strategist would allow himself to be so obviously manipulated by his very nasty, grasping and no less obviously inexperienced inner circle?
Whatever else he may be, the Bottler is no Bismarck, not even a baby version.