"Aunty Helen can do the job," Helen Clark said to me.
Now you know when Helen Clark starts talking about herself in the third person that she has got something serious to say.
So when she starts referring to herself as "Aunty Helen" in the third person, you better listen up good.
I was interviewing Helen Clark about whether she could actually win the United Nations leadership.
And what she did was drop a gigantic reality check for New Zealanders about her chances of winning - she was saying yes, I can do the job - but actually winning it depends on power out in the world.
Gower: "To take it away from diplomatic language, can Aunty Helen do this thing?"
Clark: "Well Aunty Helen can do the job for sure."
Gower: "Can Aunty Helen win it though?"
Clark: "Well you can, but the road to it is not straightforward, it depends on many, many factors, including what's going on in the world at the time."
So translating Helen Clark, there are "many factors" in the world that could stop Helen Clark becoming Secretary-General.
Make no mistake, she still has a chance as the voting process goes on.
But she is also tempering expectations at home, where some people view her as a geo-political version of Richie McCaw.
Expect Helen Clark to stake out the moral high ground as the race goes on.
Aunty Helen is saying to Kiwis: 'I am the best for the job, but I might not get it'.
Patrick Gower's full interview with Helen Clark will run on The Nation, Saturday, 9:30am.