That was Len Brown on TV3's The Nation talking to Duncan Garner about hi' />
"I'm absolutely going to step up and give it a kick in the guts."
That was Len Brown on TV3's The Nation talking to Duncan Garner about his plans to get started on the inner-city rail loop for Auckland within his first term.
He was super-vague about whether any track would actually get laid on his watch, but I am a sucker for Brown's folksy vernacular.
It was all bear hugs and back slapping - not face slapping this time - from Brown on his first morning as the mayor of all of Auckland. We are all one city now. I almost cried. The children are our future.
Even hardbitten old me is in danger of getting a touch of the Obamas with all this love-thy-neighbour rhetoric. But perhaps a bit of cheesy sentimentality is not such a bad thing given the huge obstacles ahead to fix Auckland's problems.
Warm fuzzies and karakias and fairy sparkles and uplifting mantras are cheap.
The reality of sorting out Auckland's infrastructure problems and "internationalising" the city, as Brown puts it, are not. But voters showed they wanted the new Super City to start off with handholding rather than a hardnosed focus on business and rates.
With a council of mixed political hues, what voters weren't saying is "We wish we had a Labour government". So Phil Goff looked a right muppet trying to shimmy into Brown's win and claim some of his glory. This is a big win for Len but not necessarily a big win for the Left.
The kind of problems Brown has been elected to fix are not really ideological problems. There are some local body issues which do cut across very clear tribal political lines - welfare-based policies such as the council owning subsidised pensioner housing for example, or clamping down on the homeless. But the issues the Super City election was fought on don't really divide blue or red.
The Herald's research during the campaign showed voters cared about things like a rail link to the airport and saving the St James theatre. The other hot buttons were to do with community identity which were geographical rather than doctrinaire.
Of course a left-leaning mayor may have a secret agenda when it comes to welfare-type issues. In many ways Len Brown is still an unknown quantity.
How did he pay for his slick mayoral campaign with all those TV ads? When he was asked by Duncan Garner about his campaign funding he said people came to him and said they loved him and gave him a gold coin, but it would have taken a lot of koha to pay for primetime air spots. I never saw any TV ads for John Banks.
I just hope Brown focuses on the planks on which he was elected - fixing transport and infrastructure - and doesn't become Phil Goff's Auckland doppelganger. If he wants to get things done I hope he is his own man, not the muppet's puppet.