Mr Key and the president met for the first time when Mr Obama approached the prime minister unexpectedly at a lunch hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon."Who me? Ohhhh... Mr President...."
The pair chatted for two or three minutes.
"Well it was great, he came up, I was sitting at my table and he came over and said `look it was great to see you, fantastic to have a chat on the phone, (I) look forward to seeing a lot more of you."
Reality time: nobody in the US cares about Key, his visit, or New Zealand. That's not the PM's fault. It's just the way it is. We're nobody on the global stage. The Key-Obama meeting was one of many the President had, and Obama probably forgot about it immediately afterwards. So why is it so newsworthy?
It's a big deal because of the cultural cringe factor. NZ on the global stage is like a small insecure child desperate for the big kids in the playground to like us. Whenever a foreign expert comes to NZ and says how much he/she likes our country, we go all gooey. When someone dares to criticise us over anything we get offended, outraged and hurt.
The fact that we care deeply what strangers think, rather than having the self-confidence to not worry, suggests there is still much to do before this country can ever call itself mature.
I'd care more if Obama visited NZ, because that would actually expose the most powerful person in the world to more than a handshake and polite pleasantries. But these short meet/greets, while useful, are hardly front page news.