Does Gordon Brown's plight sound familiar?
Well, here's a bit of history repeating itself.
Gordon Brown and Paul Martin spent years as their parties' dauphins. They even talked from time to time about their parallel political existences, in charge of their nations' finances, heirs-apparent to their respective prime ministers, Tony Blair and Jean Chretien.
And now, Brown seems to be finding, as Martin did, that power is not an easy thing to keep.
Take a look at this bit of a Telegraph article from yesterday:
There is not a single thing that has taken a sledgehammer to party unity - as the war in Iraq did during Mr Blair's time in charge - but there are lots of small pebbles popping on to the political windscreen and no over-arching message to prevent the glass shattering.
In private, ministers who were once in awe of Mr. Brown have started complaining about their boss. "It's dither, dither, dither," sighs one. An aide claims, blithely: "It's like a Shakespearean tragedy. Gordon's not up to the job."