That is the opening paragraph in an article in today’s Guardian. I know I haven’t been very well over the last month and I don’t always read the papers but I didn’t realise Old Glory had a new star. Like many other citizens of this sceptre Isle it sometimes feels like we are the 51st state of the USA but I never realised it had happened!
In reality he was here for a fundraiser and to glad hand current and former prime ministers: in one 24-hour trip to London, met Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, and of course Margaret Thatcher (why did he not meet John Major, the mind boggles). Winston Churchill’s granddaughter spoke at a fundraising lunch at the Mandarin Oriental - tickets cost $1,000 each (£500), or $2,300 with the bonus of having your photo taken alongside Mr Giuliani. ($2,300 being the upper limit on $2,300 for individual donations at this stage in the race. Donations can come only from US citizens.).
Giuliani is not alone: Republican candidate Fred Thompson was here earlier in the year, while Bill Clinton will be holding an event for Hillary in Windsor next month; two weeks later Michelle Obama does the same in London for her husband. There is a good reason to devote some resources to overseas campaigning: There are over 6million American expatriates worldwide, of which around 200,000 liver in the UK. If the presidential race is very close then these votes could make all the difference – overseas ballots are reckoned to have swung the result in last year’s Senate election in Virginia to the Democrats.
Apparently both Giuliani and Clinton have also been fighting to claim the mantle of Margaret Thatcher for themselves as she is seen in US politics as a proxy for Ronald Reagan - and a useful reference-point for candidates desperate to distance themselves from George Bush and his foreign policies while retaining an aura of toughness. Mrs Clinton's campaign chairman has made the link explicit, saying the former First Lady would campaign as the new Iron Lady (although, he conceded, "their policies are totally different").
I doubt any candidates will be coming to Romford although they could go to a $5 a head fund raiser by the burger van outside the station on a weekend night, with a doner kebab thrown in, or a Donner kebab if it’s the US Cannibal Party.... Woo hoo I’ve been dying for an excuse to make that lame joke on this blog for ages!