Senator David Norris was ill-prepared for last night's televised debate between the seven candidates. His attempt to dismiss the controversial letters he wrote to the Israeli authorities on behalf of his former partner, with a suggestion that voters had "moved on", simply did not wash with viewers.
Trying to paint himself as the victim of negative campaigning sounded more petulant than presidential and it seems he was ill-advised to re-enter the contest at all.
All this coming with news today that Mr Norris received a disability payment for 16 years while out of work from Trinity College, but while working as a full-time senator, has totally undermined his campaign.
Martin McGuinness was also unconvincing in his insistence that nobody cared about when he left the IRA.
Both candidates will have to try much harder to win over public confidence.