Maybe it's true after all.
When John Key claimed that he could pick up the phone and talk to President Barack Obama, he met a sceptical local response.
Now a senior member of the Obama Administration has praised the Prime Minister as a "key player" on the international stage, who has developed a "real chemistry" with the US President.
Mr Key's claim last week raised eyebrows because telephone calls between the United States President and the leader of a country as small as New Zealand are usually infrequent. When they happen, they are usually prearranged days or even weeks in advance unless there is some crisis involving both countries.
Yesterday, however, Kurt Campbell, the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said the Prime Minister was already a key player on the international stage despite being involved in international diplomacy for less than two years.
Speaking at a seminar on United States-New Zealand relations in Washington, Dr Campbell said Mr Key had "animated the discussions" and "drove the deliberations" at the President's Nuclear Summit in April.
"I was struck at how important New Zealand's contribution was on nuclear issues."
Dr Campbell noted that the US and other countries at the summit had adopted an agenda which New Zealand had championed for decades.
"In many respects it was a validation of the strong, clear principles of nuclear security and non-proliferation that New Zealand has believed in ... that New Zealand has made part of national policy for decades.
"I cannot imagine a more effective prosecutor of those principles than Prime Minister John Key."
He expected Mr Key would help drive developments at the follow-up meeting in South Korea.
Dr Campbell said the Obama Administration had at first considered the US-NZ relationship was "profoundly underperforming".By John Armstrong Email John