The United States might have installed a president for whom the pinnacle of notoriety was an unending smorgasbord of genital groping, but the United Kingdom now has a prime minister whose outspoken distaste for marital fidelity owes to his being “literally bursting with spunk.”
Which is why, for all the inevitable copy that’s been filed about this “eccentric” English toff, Johnson is better seen as a thoroughly Anglo-American farce. He plays a Brit the way Americans are accustomed to thinking of one while often behaving more American than British.
Still known to his family as “Al”—short for Alexander, his first name—the man everyone annoyingly calls Boris was born in Manhattan, raised partly in Washington, D.C.. Even as mayor of London he acted more like the mayor of an American megalopolis such as New York or Chicago, which is to say a “global ambassador” turned wild-eyed developer who left the city, like a crooked Tammany ward heeler, mired in unfinished infrastructure projects and needless debt.
Johnson is also the apotheosis of that very American phenomenon, failing upward, having launched a brilliant career in journalism—more performance art than first draft of history—on being caught inventing quotations and sacked for it. His relationship with the truth only declined from there, but his income skyrocketed.