He is a man of the people, as yet unspoiled by the poisonous atmosphere of power politics, and in spite of his position and spectacular wealth remains one of us.
He is amiable, engaging, good-natured, highly intelligent, humorous and, most of all, unaffected.
Multi-millionaire he might be, but the perception of the public - reflected in his high poll ratings - is of a fatherless state house kid made good, and, in typical Kiwi fashion, we say good on him for it.
As our principal face to the world, he should always travel in style, first class all the way, and should be able to take his wife, and even family, with him if he chooses - all at the Government's expense.This last was used by the Herald's sub for what, in the art, is called a pull-quote; never has the phrase been so apposite. But last and loveliest of them all is Garth's closing thought:
Mr Key is an avid fan of the All Blacks, a frequent attendee at their games and a regular, potently encouraging presence in their dressing room.We learn that Mr Key hangs around in dressing rooms with rugby players; someone should tell the Speaker. We also learn that this is a political strategem. We conclude that Mr Key not only is cynical but also is foolhardy: that National's electoral success depends on that of the All Blacks.
This is a political stratagem of astounding brilliance. For if the All Blacks win the World Cup on October 20, 2011, New Zealanders will be in such a state of euphoria that National will stroll over the line in early in November.
Mr Goff must be feeling better already.