Emmett Tyrrell

WASHINGTON -- The most momentous political story of the hour is not what you might think … whatever you might think. It has to do with an American politician now living in London and his aspiration to become president of the United States. His name is Boris Johnson. He, an exemplary conservative, has just beaten one of the most rebarbative left-wing reactionaries in the United Kingdom, to become mayor of London. Johnson ran a very fine campaign, an amalgam of high intelligence, sound principle, rollicking good humor, and energy that could be branded New Tory. Mind you, New Toryism will arrive on these shores in due course.

Presidential aspirants often are accused of pursuing office with the intent of using that office as a "steppingstone" to still higher office. The wife of a former Arkansas governor, when running for a Senate seat in New York in 2000, was accused of intending New York to be her "steppingstone" to the presidency. Her husband, too, was accused of using his re-election to the governor's mansion as a stepping stone to the White House; months after re-election, Boy Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign began. For that matter, the New York Senate seat that Hillary now holds is the same seat once held by Robert F. Kennedy, who also was presciently accused by opponents of intending the seat as his steppingstone to the highest office in the land. Incidentally, both Hillary Clinton and Robert Kennedy came to New York as outsiders -- she from Arkansas, he from Massachusetts. Consequently, both suffered the charge of being called "carpetbaggers."

So using a governorship or a Senate seat as a steppingstone to the presidency is not new. Using City Hall in London is. Geographically speaking, Johnson's presidential campaign will make him the most ambitious carpetbagger in American history. He was born in New York General Hospital June 19, 1964 -- the year remembered by American conservatives as the Goldwater Year.

It is now faintly circulating through American media that Johnson was born here, but so is the report that he gave up his citizenship in 2006 after encountering passport problems with fussy U.S. immigration authorities. The report is in error. I now can reveal that The American Spectator, in another of its world exclusives, has discovered (see the June issue) that the newly elected mayor of London never terminated his citizenship. He is as American as Barack Obama.

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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