Unlike Ben Brogan, I don't seriously believe Alan Johnson plans to do a U-turn and come back into the Labour leadership race - but I have to say that his new campaign website launched today had me wondering a bit.....
Yesterday, Johnson made clear he would be backing Gordon Brown, describing the Chancellor as a "towering political figure" and praising his "gravitas, experience, and intellect."
Fair enough, but somebody should have told the person putting together the media section of his new website which seems to be slightly off-message in this respect.
It currently contains the following stories, all seemingly promoting the idea of Johnson as a candidate not for the deputy leadership, but as a rival to Gordon for the top job.
"Alan Johnson displayed his leadership credentials to the Labour Party conference yesterday when he announced plans to restore confidence in school exams and to help children in care." Greg Hurst, The Times
"When the backstabbing finally stops, could Alan Johnson be the man who delivers the fatal blow to Brown?" Rachel Cooke, The Observer
"For many Labour MPs he represents the perfect alternative to the Chancellor, being everything that Mr Brown is not." Anthony Browne, The Times
"Gordon Brown's enemies are pinning their hopes on Alan Johnson." 'Bagehot," The Economist.
November 13 Update: This was post was picked up over the weekend by both PoliticalBetting.com and The Daily, both of whom provide interesting angles on it. On balance I tend towards The Daily's verdict that it was an unintended hangover from Johnson's earlier plans to contest the leadership, rather than Mike's interpretation that AJ might re-enter the race at some stage.