CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS;Mitt Romney does the impossible: Gets Brits to stop moaning and start cheering about Olympics
“Who invited party-pooper Romney?” asked the Daily Mail.
“Nowhere Man” declared the more reserved Times of London, a reference to a biting comment by the famously diplomatic Cameron, who implied that Romney lacked the experience to offer advice to one of the world’s great capitals since the Olympics he helped organize in Salt Lake City, Utah, took place “in the middle of nowhere.”
“We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course, it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere,” Cameron said.
Colorful London Mayor Boris Johnson also got in on the act, using Romney’s criticism as a rallying cry to stoke up a crowd of tens of thousands gathered at Hyde Park on Thursday night: “There’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know if we are ready. Are we ready? Yes, we are!”
Residents learned of Romney’s comments from friends, television and social media. And the fact the Republican presidential candidate spent hours trying to dial back his dig with more positive statements seemed to win him little favor.
“What would he know?” asked Londoner Liudmila Troshina, wearing a Team Great Britain jersey and posing for pictures along with her husband in Piccadilly Circus. “I don’t really care what people from other countries think about us because I take my information firsthand — from people who live here.”
“No matter what some man said, we are prepared ... to support our country, our city and our sportsmen with everything we have,” she added.
Those sentiments are a quick about-face from the weeks of moaning many Britons have engaged in prior to the games, which begin with the opening ceremony Friday night.
For months, the nation has been awash in complaints — from taxi drivers angry over special traffic lanes for Olympics VIPS, to slack-jawed travelers staring down long lines at immigration, to commuters apoplectic about being asked to rethink their journey to avoid the crush of Olympic tourists, to residents alarmed that surface-to-air missiles have been placed on their roofs to fight terrorism.
Even the heavens have come in for a browbeating, with the Times of London publishing an editorial recently demanding an end to weeks of rain.
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