AFTER the two weeks Senator David Norris has had, it must have come as a relief yesterday to face a real-life hatchet man, as opposed to the ones with tape recorders and an interest in the sexual mores of ancient Greece.
Because, instead of talking about pederasty with restaurant critics like Helen Lucey Burke, he was trying to convince fellahs with names like Padge Reck, a Wexford councillor, that he's the man for the Aras.
It was these councillors Mr Norris had to impress yesterday, the 'Super Monday' where he addressed three councils -- Wexford, Carlow and Waterford City -- in his quest to get into the presidential race proper.
And they weren't afraid of quizzing the Trinity senator on his recent interviews.
Padge asked about abortion, to which Mr Norris replied: "I am not pro-abortion, I have never been pro-abortion. I am as pro-life as anyone in this room. I love life."
In Carlow, he was asked about his views on the age of consent and legalising cannabis.
He was also asked about sexual abuse, to which he replied: "Let me say again and again, and eventually it will sink in. I have always condemned the abuse of children -- physical, psychological or sexual."
In Waterford, they all praised him, and he was given a largely warm reception by all three councils, with each wishing him well -- without committing their votes.
And he gave the same speech to all three councils, outlining his vision for the Presidency.
"All my life I have been on the outside knocking to be let in; not just for myself but for those I represent," went his peroration each time.
"Now again I am knocking. I wish to be allowed run for the office of President of Ireland so that I can be a President for all the people. You have the keys, you can let me in. I ask you now to formally do so."
Each delivery was as convincing as the next, like an actor giving bravura performances time and again, wowing the councillors.
But for now, David Norris is still an actor waiting on the big time.
He's waiting on Padge Reck, the hatchet man, and the others to get him on to Broadway.