Jacinda Ardern had a good excuse for keeping the Washington Post waiting.
Her schedule had to be pushed out to accommodate a presidential resignation by Nigel Haworth for his handling of sexual assault allegations against a Labour Party activist and parliamentary staffer.
It wasn't just the Post waiting in the core of the Beehive's Ninth Floor but Washington aristocracy, Lally Graham Weymouth.
Weymouth is a senior associate editor and the daughter of the legendary Katharine Graham who played no small role in enabling the paper's Watergate reportage as its publisher.
She has interviewed such an astonishing array of leaders, it is almost easier to count the ones she hasn't.
Libya's Colonel Gaddafi, Iraq's Saddam Hussein and Syria's Bashar al-Assad are old journalistic conquests as were Hugo Chavez, of Venezuela, Viktor Orban, of Hungary, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, of Iran, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, of Turkey, Shimon Peres, of Israel, Lee Kwan Yew, of Singapore, and Benazir Bhutto, of Pakistan.
More recent subjects have been Imran Khan, now Prime Minister of Pakistan, Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil, Juan Guaido, Opposition leader in Venezuela, and now Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand.
A year ago Ardern was known internationally as that young leader who became Prime Minister overnight, and had a baby in office. The defining photos were of the pregnant PM meeting the Queen, and playing with the baby at the United Nations General Assembly.
Today, she is known by millions if not billions more than a year ago and is defined by her empathetic response to the Christchurch mosques massacre which touched the world.
But she answers questions about her own profile in terms of the country.
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"I don't want New Zealand to be defined by that event," she says. "But I do want us to be known for our humanity in the aftermath.
"No one wants to be known for that. No one wants to think about something so horrific when they think about New Zealand but if they think instead about humanity and empathy, then that is who we are."
Like many media, the Washington Post sought an interview with Ardern in the aftermath of the massacre.
It is sheer coincidence that the Post is interviewing her during one of her worst weeks in domestic politics, in which not just the Opposition and media are questioning her credibility but her own tribe, young idealists.
Ardern is known for many things, but getting offside with the #MeToo movement for not taking allegations of sexual misconduct seriously would perhaps be the least anticipated problem area.
At Ardern's first appearance at the UN a year ago, her rallying cry," Me Too must become We Too," was met with acclaim, National unkindly pointed out in Question Time.
The contradiction between the slogan and the apparent practice is not something Ardern wanted to dwell on in a long-scheduled interview with the Herald about her international profile - just ahead of the Washington Post as it happened.
It is the first sit-down interview the Herald has had with Ardern in a while, certainly since March.
Knock-backs over the months have rankled when it has been clear that Ardern has made plenty of time for international media during nearly two years in office.
Such interviews, she says, are all calculated as part of the national interest and are not about building her personal profile. She couldn't be more emphatic.
"I get very uncomfortable, very uncomfortable when I hear any suggestion around that. That makes me very uncomfortable because I am only there because of this job and this role and that means my duty is to New Zealand," she says.
"I'm even very cautious about anything that may give a vague whiff about it being anything other than representing New Zealand."
She takes advice from Tourism New Zealand as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade ahead of determining media engagements, as she did for the next big trip, to Japan next week and then to New York for her second appearance at leaders' week at the United Nations.
She has three local interviews lined up in Japan, and six media events including one alongside a person dressed as a kiwifruit to promote the fact that tariffs on kiwifruit were slashed through the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership.
"I literally consider myself an agent for New Zealand and that can be for our exporters or that can be for our point of view on the world stage. That's how I see myself.
"Even for media interviews, I think about 'what kind of audience will I be speaking to, will it be a chance where I can do a little bit of New Zealand promotion?'"
Ardern is particularly offended by occasional suggestions that she is building an international profile in order to get an international job.
"And this is my home so the idea that you'd use a job first and foremost as privileged as this to try and leverage to try and do something else feels really dismissive of how important this job is.
"Those suggestions upset me."
Ardern did an interview with The Times when she was passing through London in January, deliberately chosen with the intention of softening up its conservative readership for a possible free trade agreement with New Zealand.
When she appeared on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert in New York a year ago, it was to promote Air New Zealand's new route to Chicago.
You can't turn on CNN these days without seeing a clip of Ardern saying how much she doesn't understand America [its gun laws] - as a promo for the Christiane Amanpour show.
The BBC had a similar promo last year.
The Washington Post interview, her chief press secretary Andrew Campbell says, is designed to give her more leverage for her issues when she hits the ground running in the United States.
Who knows whether Donald Trump will see it, or if he will be moved either way by it.
Ardern has earned a reputation for being not just the antithesis of Trump, but actually anti-Trump, as Vogue, among others, has observed.
It is a reputation stoked by relatively gentle chiding of him by her since she became Prime Minister, and more strident criticism and literal marching against him before her rise to power.
It is not an issue Ardern wants to address. But she never wavers from the description of being an anti-Trump international icon.
She simply resorts to a standard deflection of answering a question she hasn't actually been asked.
She talks about being compared to Justin Trudeau and other young leaders.
"I'd rather just be defined for what we do here rather than it be relative to anybody else."
Incredibly, Ardern actually claims to have no concept of having a high profile internationally, one which most observers would say is far higher than any previous New Zealand leader.
"You see I have no sense of that because … I always thought relative for our size, that our leaders have always done a very good job of getting us access and profile relative to the informal order and pecking order that exists."
The informal pecking order definitely exists, she says, and it is based on size, population or economy.
By those measures it was tough for New Zealand.
"But New Zealand has always had something to say and our leaders have done a good job of saying it.
"That space was created by a lot of other leaders and I stepped into that, and I am just trying to continue that, and the reputation."
Ardern agrees with a broad summary of which issues dominated the foreign policy agenda of those other leaders: for David Lange it was the anti-nuclear rift with the United States and suspension of New Zealand from the Anzus alliance; for Jim Bolger it was trying to make up with the United States and expanding relationships in Asia; for Helen Clark it was cementing New Zealand's independent foreign policy and expanding the relationship with China; and for John Key it was making up with the United States through TPP and expanding the relationship with China.
So how would she describe her primary pursuits in foreign policy?
Not surprisingly, she cites climate change as the biggest global challenge.
"It dominates a lot of the engagement I have. It does. But I would put that under the banner of 'the time I'm in office at the moment is time of complete global uncertainty and disruption'.
"There is a real challenge to multilateral institutions and there's a number of leaders who, I think, reference them as points of pain rather than things we need to reform and fix and strengthen. I almost put climate change within that. "
It is in that context that she promotes stronger multilateral institutions such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organisation, she says.
She sees a free trade agreement with the European Union as a priority.
And she also cites the work she is doing to remove violent extremism from the internet in the wake of the mosque attacks, also known as the Christchurch Call.
"There have been very few examples where we as a country have tried to lead on – there has been Antarctica, there have been instruments around disabilities and the work we are doing around terrorism online," she says.
"I hope that leave a bit of a global legacy because we felt a sense of responsibility."
It is not a sense of responsibility that is shared by National Party leader Simon Bridges.
In anticipation of Ardern's next trip, he bagged as a "talkfest" Ardern's global efforts with other leaders and internet companies to get rid of violent extremism online.
Those efforts began soon after the March massacre, progressed to a meeting in Paris in May which was co-chaired by Ardern and President Emmanuel Macron, and will advance further in New York at UN leaders' week.
Bridges is no doubt anticipating a heavy diet of domestic coverage of Ardern in New York and a certain degree of adulation.
New Zealanders, he claimed, would rather Ardern concentrated on cost of living and other domestic issues.
However rational, Bridges' criticism breaches the accepted New Zealand approach of bipartisanship by the major parties on all but the most contentious of foreign policy issues.
But Ardern isn't bothered.
"I haven't spent a long time dwelling on it," she said. "There's just some things you go 'oh politics' and just try and shrug it off a bit."
The Christchurch Call was "just a pragmatic response to something we have an obligation to do something about".
It is not the first time Bridges has attempted to portray Ardern's utterly orthodox foreign policy pursuits as a weapon in domestic politics.
Ardern was dubbed a "part-time Prime Minister" by him when she visited the New Zealand territory of Tokelau during a normal working week rather than during a recess.
In fact Ardern's travel has been anything but unusual. She may have a higher profile than former National Prime Minister Sir John Key but their respective travels were commensurate.
And with a travelling office in tow, modern communications as they are and continual updates, she says she does not feel disconnected to domestic affairs.
The only exception was Tokelau.
Next week she catches up again with Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, one of the first leaders she met on her first trip as Prime Minister, to Apec in Danang, Vietnam.
They bonded over the high dramas of the TPP and a recent bereavement.
She was touched when he expressed his condolences over the death of her cat Paddles at their first meeting. They have several times since then at international forums and get on well.
Ardern seems genuinely excited at the prospect of visiting Japan for the first time as PM.
She is certainly showing no signs of it having been a rough day in domestic politics.
She is decidedly chipper when I hand her over to the Washington Post, just a little late.