"I'm a politician... but without the razzmatazz."
You can say that again.
Those were Simon Bridges words yesterday.
He said he's not a celebrity politician like Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. He's a "family man", he said. And a politician "without the razzmatazz."
I salute him for bringing the word "razzmatazz" back.
Bridges also clarified that the rumour that Sir John Key's thrown his support in behind Judith Collins is utter bollocks.
He said John had texted him to say so.
But what we heard yesterday was Simon Bridges fighting. He came out swinging - revved up.
Which begs the question: why has it taken so long to hear him sounding so stroppy?Perhaps these leadership rumours are the rocket he needed?
Or is he just poking the bear? Is this renewed sign of strength pushing Collins to the brink and designed to flush her out?
Here's the good point Bridges made though: there is plenty of fodder to attack the Government on.
Correct. And he went for it in the House yesterday.
But where has the Opposition been up until now? Where are the attack dogs?
Where is Nikki Kaye on Tomorrow's Schools?
Where is Paul Goldsmith on transport?
Where is Paula Bennett on the meth drug stats?
Actually come to think of it, where is the PM on those drug stats?
$500 million spent on meth in this country every year - $1.4m cash on methamphetamine every single day. Those were the stats out of the first national police wastewater testing.
And what does our Prime Minister have to say about that?
Well who would know, because she's off to France to talk about social media.
Which dovetails into my theory a few weeks ago that she's pursuing a longer term career on the world stage, not here.
Ardern is so well received on the international stage and in the global arena, she's credible in that realm and gets good raps for it - so we have to wonder if jetsetting off to Europe is more of a priority than wading through detail on what's happening here at home. Time will tell.
Meanwhile, the Opposition has had much scope to be doing its job, but just hasn't been doing it.
Too much time spent getting whipped into the media circus around the leadership maybe?
But you have to hand it to Bridges (odd as it may've seemed at times as he yelled in the House like a toddler jacked up on sugar) - if he can consolidate his caucus, and can continue to fire up the way he did yesterday, then the opposition may well grab the zeal to get back on track.