Kate Forbes is a Highlander who has honed a habit of making history.
Indeed, as if the pressure of delivering a Budget worth billions was not enough for the 30-year-old, she decided to bill her own spending showpiece as the “most important” since devolution this week.
“The exceptional circumstances require an exceptional response,” she said, near the beginning of her speech.
Ms Forbes, who read history at Cambridge and Edinburgh universities, has shown in the past that she is confident of her capability to rise to such a challenge.
Few can forget they way she was thrust into centre stage a year ago, after her predecessor Derek Mackay’s shock resignation on the eve of the fiscal event.
In the process, the former Dingwall Academy pupil became the first woman to deliver a Budget Holyrood or Westminster, and she did so having only had a few hours to prepare.
That led to her being appointed as Scotland’s first female finance secretary, having previously been the first government minister born in the same decade that parliament was created.
The next First Minister?
Sat to her left during the Budget statement on Thursday, Nicola Sturgeon must have been wondering what Holyrood heroics the Highland MSP might produce next.
Or perhaps the first minister was wondering if she was watching her heir.
Another assured performance will do little to dampen such talk, particularly given the lack of any other obvious alternative for the party in power.
It is also true that, compared to a year ago, the stakes were far higher for Ms Forbes when she stood up to deliver the Budget for the coming year.
Few would have criticised her if she had fluffed her lines last time, given the circumstances, which were exceptional in a very different way.
But now, after almost a year in the job, her opponents would have been far less forgiving if the Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP had shown any weakness.
Murdo Fraser referred to Ms Forbes’ recent engagement when he joked that it was “good to see her recognising the benefits of being in a union”.
The exchanges might have been very different in other circumstances.
Pandemic to the fore
Of course, there was also the pressure of the pandemic and the ever-evolving crisis that, as Ms Forbes put it, had “shaken our society and economy to their core”.
She did not mention the emerging virus in her statement last year, but it cut through her entire speech on Thursday, from the first sentence to the last.
“When the history of this pandemic is written, our NHS and social care staff will be recognised as the undisputed heroes they are,” she said at one point.
Ms Forbes was no doubt correct.
She may be writing more chapters of her own history before long as well.