After a horror "gotcha" start to his campaign, the reset could be going better for the Labor leader.
Discipline is a question as Anthony Albanese fails to capitalise on free hits.
A failure to recite the unemployment rate may soon be water under the bridge, but Labor is scrambling to ensure there's no repeat.
A concession he'd messed up, shorter press conferences, and stage-managed events on safe ALP ground: Medicare.
A Monday aside at Scott Morrison for abruptly ending press conferences was followed by abruptly ending his own on Wednesday.
But even in more fleeting appearances, the self-restraint is lacking.
Offered the softball of all softballs on Thursday, asked to reminisce on the odd jobs he worked as a struggling uni student, Mr Albanese did not doggedly stick to the message.
Almost two minutes, ranging from overnight shifts at Pancakes on the Rocks - "It was pretty tough" - to hosing down pigeon poo at the Sydney Theatre Company - "It got all over us" - petered out.
It's a diverse CV, to be sure, and one that would resonate with millions of Australians. But it's best not relayed as a fireside chat with grandad.
There was no pivot to an answer begging to be verbalised: "Working the graveyard shift gave me an insight into the stresses facing Australians juggling horrible hours, low wages, and raising a family."
It's not the first time he has passed up an easy opportunity to hammer home the message.
And Tuesday's example, coming as he tried to reset after his unemployment gaffe, should have alarmed Labor strategists.
Asked about Australia potentially being stripped of its human rights status, partly due to the Coalition appointing Liberal-aligned Lorraine Finlay as human rights commissioner, Mr Albanese scored an own goal.
"At the risk of creating a headline, I don't know who [that] is," he replied, immediately creating a headline.
He didn't know. But why blurt that out, under no pressure?
The government spent the pre-election period hurriedly pushing through plum tax-payer funded jobs for ex-staffers and politicians.
It is refusing to budge on its wet-lettuce integrity commission, potentially over fears for what seems like half its front bench. (Mr Albanese did belatedly make that point on Thursday).
Mr Morrison, by contrast, was his usual blend of evasiveness and front in the marginal Tasmanian seat of Bass on Thursday.
Spruiking a woman, Bridget Archer, who had publicly slammed his anti-corruption model was always a potential pitfall.
While Archer turned out to be more bark than bite with her leader present, Morrison obstinately refused to answer unflattering questions. The Prime Minister has made an artform of answering questions he wishes he was asked.
How can his pledges be trusted when hundreds of millions in car parks have not materialised? Why would anyone believe he will clean up Canberra after breaking a commitment for a federal ICAC?
"You're asking me about priorities," he confidently told a journalist, who was absolutely not asking him about priorities. "Jobs, jobs, jobs."
There's sticking to the message and there's that; no one wants candidates ignoring questions in that way.
But with the five weeks until polling day inevitably coming with bumps along the way, Mr Albanese needs to make the most of a good thing when it's on offer.
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