Posted on Bevan Foundation blog on June 7th
Huw Lewis is a cleverer politician that most of the cabinet give him credit for.
On Friday night he urged Rhodri Morgan to stay on until the expenses row blows over "for the sake of the party and the country" - and of course to help those caught up in it.
By association he allied himself with his popular outgoing leader, while also distancing himself from him.
In a cleverly crafted section of his speech, Huw Lewis followed up his priase for the First Minister by drawing a contrast with the man who sacked him twice:
"We come from different generations, with very different backgrounds - it would be completely bizarre to think that we could agree on every issue under the sun. Indeed on some issues we are on a different page altogether".
While supposedly praising his leader he portrayed himself as loyal, young, rooted in the Labour movement and with a new agenda. Clever, eh?
Huw Lewis has demonstrated how politics is an art not a science.
His putative opponents have been slow in waking up to his strength as a candidate, they should no longer be in any doubt.