But he's lost the plot a bit today; success seems to have gone to his head. NZPA reports:
Oh dear. Has it escaped Russel Norman's attention that the Act advertisement is not exactly favourably disposed towards John Key? And has he not noticed that John Ansell, Act's now-former media strategist has been even more caustic towards National in his public utterances since the furore broke over the weekend?
Prime Minister John Key should not accept “racist” Act Party ads and has questions to answer, the Green Party says.
ACT has sparked controversy running an ad featuring the Maori sovereignty flag headlined “Fed up with pandering to Maori Radicals?” It lists what ACT saw as National Party concessions to Maori. These ranged from the foreshore legislation to the spelling of Whanganui.
Green co-leader Russel Norman said Mr Key accepted ACT as a support partner.
“They’re his coalition partner, does he support the racist campaign they are running?” he told NZPA.
John Key is not responsible for Act. No comment was made by any Minister in his coalition government. Don Brash is not yet an Act MP, and John Ansell is not even an Act candidate. And Key has put the issue into perspective:
This morning, Mr Key told reporters there was nothing new in either the Act advertisement - which was "factually incorrect" or Mr Ansell's subsequent comments and he was not bothered by them.
"What happens with him and the Act Party, frankly I don't give a toss about, but at the end of the day I don't think any of us would be surprised that he's making those comments."
He said the comments would not sour National's relationship with ACT.
"We don't share all the views that ACT quite clearly has but that doesn't mean we can't work with them, but we clearly don't share all the views the Maori Party has either but we've certainly proved over the last three years that we can work with them as well."
The PM has effectively slammed the door on Russel Norman's bleatings, and those of John Ansell at the other end of the scale. Perhaps Norman should reflect on John Key's Preferred Prime Minister ratings and take note if he has any similar ambitions. After all, the way that Labour's vote is dissipating, he and Metiria Turei may yet be the co-Leaders of the Opposition by the end of 2011.