Ian Templeton, doyen of the parliamentary press gallery, was on Close-up this evening talking about the extraordinary 50 years that he’s been getting up close and personal with politicians. Interesting that he named Helen Clark as the best of the bunch of the dozen or so prime ministers that he’s reported on. And remember the list includes Holyoake, Kirk, Muldoon, Lange, Bolger etc. Templeton is a conservative and measured Southlander, not given to hyperbole. He’s had a birds-eye view of Clark in her prime – astute, excellent instincts, always well prepared, in touch with contemporary New Zealand: makes you realise what a formidable challenge rawhide Key has in front of him.