He’s there as a dad, not a prime minister, but John Key has nonetheless found time to talk to the local paper during his trip to Bangor, Maine, to watch his son and his team play in the Senior Little League World Series.
Did I say trip? Scrap that. In the words of the Bangor Daily News, Key has embarked on a “baseball odyssey”.
The online story includes something special – a video of John Key listening to the New Zealand national anthem, cap over heart and all that.
New Zealand, you say? The BDN explains. It is “the island nation of 4.4 million located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean some 900 miles east of Australia”.
According to the report, Key believes the feat of his son’s side, Bayside Westhaven, in reaching the tournament has been “big news back home”. He does not mention the chief reason why.
Key said the fact his son’s team — the first from New Zealand to qualify for a World Series at any level — has reached the SLWS is big news back home, and it may spur additional growth in a sport that, while lagging far behind such local staples as rugby and cricket, is gaining momentum.
“You’re apt to see a whole lot of players willing to join the sport and participate,” he said, “because we always see that when we see a New Zealand team doing well, whether it’s basketball or whatever it might be.”
In an earlier report on Key’s visit – sorry, odyssey – meanwhile, the Bangor Daily News delivered the PM a promotion, describing him as New Zealand’s “head of state”. The Queen will not be pleased.