The reaction to David Cameron's speech is mixed, but I haven't heard anyone say it was his greatest, or say they were swept away by his oration.
But were we supposed to be? Would a passionate belter of a speech fitted with the theme of the week, not to be complacent or triumphalist? No. But the audience beforehand was pumped up, there was a "best bits" film at the start (including a clip from his stellar 2005 leadership bid - perhaps they should have run the whole tape instead).
The expectation in the Manchester Central conference hall was high, and Cameron's speech fell short. Cameron is good orator, usually, so we can only think the low-key approach was deliberate. And yet, this was the moment that we were supposed to see the Prime Minister-in-waiting, and some will feel they are still waiting.
Aides say there was a deliberate build-up, and yes, there was a flicker of passion was the final section - the stuff about "I see a country". There was a good section on crime, and the NHS - that it should not be a machine - and on telling us how Blair wasted his mandate and how Brown is messing up. Some of it was convincing.
But other sections were stodgy. He sounded rather exhausted. And some bits were just downright unconvincing. The most ill-advised line was "I want every child to have the chances that I had." Yes, we realise he doesn't literally mean go to Eton. But it reminded people of his charmed childhood. Cameron shouldn't be afraid to discuss Eton, but he could have put it better.
There were contradictions - attacking big government, while setting out a vision of the home and family life he thinks Britons should have. And I am not convinced by being told, day in day out, that we are living in a broken society, because this is simply not true. So it was good that, as well as repeating his broken Britain theme, he acknowledged that in 2009, this country is "in so many ways, a great place to live". Finally.
This speech is not going to change the political landscape - he looks set fair to win in 2010 anyway. But the magic many were expecting was just not there.