"Root canal" a little weak-sounding, but this whole passage nice in two ways. Conceptually, positions him for the "we didn't like this process but we had to do it" argument. Tonally, it left him sounding jaunty and even cocky, which is better than sounding beaten. Bonus point: camera flashed to Tim Geithner after this line. His expression will live on as the Wikipedia illustration for the term "a wan smile."