The New York Times profiles London mayoral candidate, television personality, and Tory polymath Boris Johnson (full, ultra-posh name: Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson). According to recent polling data, Johnson has taken the lead against the Labour incumbent, "Red" Ken Livingstone. The hard-left Livingstone—according to whom "capitalism has killed more people than Hitler" and the I.R.A. were "freedom fighters"—called the YouGov poll "totally implausible."
Some Boris bons mots from The Times:
He sampled an oyster. "Oysters for everyone!" he boomed expansively. "I promise to oysterize all of south London!" Searching for money to buy a magazine, Mr. Johnson excavated from his pocket some coins and a grubby piece of cheese. Asked what he could offer as mayor, he reeled off, "Optimism, energy, dynamism and creative ideas!"
"If you look at our agenda, I don't think you could contest the seriousness of the job or what we are trying to accomplish," Mr. Johnson said at the market, sampling a piece of sausage from a vendor. The vendor told him she was homesick for Poland. "Oh, dear," he said.
Caught cheating on his wife in 2004, Mr. Johnson tried to weasel out of it by calling the accusation "balderdash" and "ludicrous conjecture."
After it became clear that he was lying, he was dismissed from his position as the Conservative arts spokesman. "My friends, as I have discovered myself, there are no disasters, only opportunities," he said. "And indeed, opportunities for fresh disasters."
Buying a meat pie, he was asked whether he wanted it wrapped in a bag. "Yes, some kind of bag!" he responded, before remembering the party line, that plastic bags are bad for the environment. "No, we're antibag," he said. "We're going to hold it."
He glanced at his entourage, already laden with various Boris-accrued items, and edited himself again. "We're going to find a team of porters to hold it."
His aides kept a close eye on him. "Boris is off drink until the election is over," said one, cutting off a vendor who tried to give Mr. Johnson a cup of alcohol-laced cider.
BoJo's greatest YouTube hits can be viewed here. Below, Johnson's classic hard tackle of former German soccer star Maurizio Gaudino during a London charity match for the Bobby Moore Fund: