Birmingham: Brows furrowed, hands clasped tight, eyes betraying anxiety. That was Team Brown on the morning after the disaster before.
The workers who met Mr Brown in a factory in Halesowen looked somewhat embarrassed to have walk-on parts in this painful spectacle. "Your firm's doing well in China," the prime minister told one who was lined up to meet him.
Her reply? "Our company's doing very well everywhere, but I think it's in spite of you."
His wife Sarah, now constantly at his side - if only she had been in Rochdale - tugged at her husband's sleeve to move him away and allow the smoother Peter Mandelson to deal with the awkward encounter.
The message this morning was clear: "Yesterday was yesterday; today is about the economy." Oh, and, Gordon Brown was quick to add, about immigration too. And "I understand the concerns people have."
Tonight was scheduled to be the moment Gordon Brown invited the public not to like him, but to listen to his warning about Tory economic plans. His worry must be: how many will be listening to him, and how many will treat him as he did Mrs Duffy and barely listen to a word he says?
PS: An intriguing story that puts tonight's debate in context. The American economist David Hale says that the governor of the Bank of England has told him that the next British government will need to launch an austerity drive so tough that it will threaten its political survival, potentially leaving that party out of power for a generation.