As Mayor Guiliani was to tragedy, Mayor Johnson is to joy. There he is, ever ready with a cheerful remark (it's "magnificent and bonkers") or a witty aperçu – claiming that the Emirates cable car was named after Vince Cable. The Mayor of London has always had a knack of branding everything he nears – Boris Bikes, Boris Buses. I used to think it was just a lucky coincidence for him that so much transport infrastructure began with a B. Then came Boris Island. It's more like a superpower than a serendipity; he is, gallingly, a Midas of commerce.
The defining moments of the Bolympics so far – he reacted swiftly enough, and trenchantly enough, to Mitt Romney's ill-conceived underconfidence in our national ability to do things properly. Boris's "Are we ready? Yes we are" rally – mocking Romney and referencing Obama at the same time – occurred in front of a 60,000-strong crowd in Hyde Park; an American news source called it Nuremberg, but of course, that was precisely what it wasn't. He couldn't have got away with it, had it not been laced with humour. Hence Cameron's much more measured, less appealing response – with Boris's script, he would have come across as irritable and wildly undiplomatic.
It is perhaps this relentless good cheer that the Queen is responding to, as she chooses Boris over Cameron whenever she's after a politician to confide in. The Mirror reported on Saturday: "Her Majesty said to Boris Johnson: 'It all seemed to go very well last night. But I didn't see my bit.' Boris told her: 'You were brilliant Ma'am,' and she responded: 'It was a bit of a laugh.'" Look, I can't imagine her calling it a bit of a laugh either, OK? But that's what the newshounds say, and it is of the London Mayor, and not the prime minister or his wife, that they say it.
He is the darling of the centrist Tories, having responded warmly to the Opening Ceremony. Again, contrast him with Cameron, who took 72 hours to call Aiden Burley (the main naysayer) an idiot. There should be some kind of tipsheet for political insults, which I'll start – deliberating for three days over such a simple judgment call and garden-variety insult is like reading with your tongue out.
So it is no surprise that Conservatives have started fantasising about a fresh leader – a poll showed Boris was in front at 32%, his nearest rival a man who has already tried and failed at this one-shot job (William Hague is on 24%). The real legacy of the games might not be a yonic swimming pool or giant McDonald's, but a Bodacious prime minister. It is a thought more chilling than a giant milkshake, or a midnight swim.
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