Christopher Meyer, the former British ambassador to the United States who shocked the staid diplomatic world with a tell-all expose about his years as the queen’s envoy in Washington, has turned his literary skills to the U.S. presidential election.
In a lengthy article in London’s Daily Mail newspaper, Mr. Meyer quotes Yogi Berra, the legendary former player and manager of baseball’s New York Yankees and New York Mets famous for his twisted witticisms.
Mr. Meyer, ambassador here from 1997 to 2003, was as blunt in his assessment of the campaign as he was shocking in his memoirs, “D.C. Confidential,” in which he dished dirt on British politicians who visited Washington.
He warned both Republicans and Democrats that nothing in politics is settled until the votes are counted on Election Day.
“This year has looked to be the best opportunity for a Republican to defeat a Democratic president since Ronald Reagan crushed Jimmy Carter in 1980,” he wrote. During most of that presidential campaign, Mr. Carter held a comfortable lead over Mr. Reagan.
In 1988 as a visiting fellow at Harvard’s University’s Center for International Affairs, Mr. Meyer recalled the presidential campaign of Republican George H.W. Bush and another former Massachusetts governor, Democrat Michael Dukakis. He noted that Mr. Dukakis held a double-digit lead over Mr. Bush in August but lost in a landslide in November.
“I have to confess to being carried away by the emotion of the moment, as I watched Obama’s moving victory speech before a vast, exultant crowd in his hometown of Chicago,” he wrote. “But the vaulting expectations simply could not be met.”
Mr. Meyer visited the United States just before 2010 congressional elections in which Republicans, running on a groundswell of tea party passion, defeated the Democrats and retook the House.
However, he added, Mr. Romney cannot just count on a crippled economy and a maelstrom in the Middle East.