With the world poised for the start of it's biggest sporting event with all its supporting cultural activities London seemed the perfect venue for US presidential candidate Mitt Romney to wow the masses, but it was an opportunity lost.
Four years earlier then presidential hopeful Barack spoke to cheering crowds in Europe, and his message traveled around the world.
Romney’s message is also traveling via Twitter, YouTube and the media, but not in the way his advisers planned.
His visit to London was was dubbed a 'RomneyShambles' after a series of gaffes which provoked a cutting put-down from British Prime Minister David Cameron and had a diplomatic source comparing the US Republican presidential candidate unfavorably with Sarah Palin.
Romney's diplomatic nightmare said The Week began when he questioned London's preparedness for the Olympic Games in an NBC interview broadcast just 24 hours before being hosted by the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street.
The stage was set for a devastating riposte from Cameron and he duly obliged, saying: "We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities in the world. Of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere."
The remark was clearly a reference to an aspect of Romney's career of which the American had made much in the run-up to his London visit: his rescue of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, which had been mired in allegations of corruption and funding problems.
Romney's progress through a series of meetings with senior British politicians in Whitehall was marked by other gaffes. Those reported in the media include his apparent inability to recall the name of Britain’s opposition leader’s name ( Ed Milliband) referring to him as "Mr Leader" - and letting slip that he had met the head of MI6, which you just aren't supposed to do.
Romney was also shown up in front of the US press pack when Miliband agreed to take questions from some British journalists, but the Republican refused to answer those of American hacks.
A British political blogger piled on the embarrassment by revealing that tickets to a Romney fundraiser in London, which had initially gone on sale at $25,000, were eventually cut to $1,000 due to lack of interest.
Meanwhile, a passage from Romney's memoirs in which he makes unkind remarks about Britain has started doing the rounds. The unflattering extract reads: "England is just a small island. Its roads and houses are small. With few exceptions, it doesn't make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy."
A diplomatic source expressed his dismay to The Times, saying: "It is worse than Sarah Palin in terms of basic diplomacy." Another, referring to successful visits to Europe by Barack Obama, said: "There is none of the stardust of his opponent."
The 'Romney Shambles' was reported upon at great length in the US media and a hashtag of the same name was one of the most popular subjects on Twitter for hours.
US journalist John Podhoretz tweeted: "Come on. We needed this. It's a little comic relief. Kind of like Mr. Bean, only he's an American. #MittHitsTheFan"
Vanity Fair went so far as to imagine a hypothetical President Romney's diplomatic gaffes. "To French president François Hollande: 'Your country's a little... I don't know, gay?'
"Romney to German chancellor Angela Merkel: 'It's just odd. All the other Angelas I know are very attractive girls.'"
Democratic politicians were unable to hide their glee, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid telling US blog Huffington Post: "It's not good for us as a country - it's not good for him - but as a country to have somebody that's nominated by one of the principal parties to go over and insult everybody..."
Some enterprising Democrats even decided to help their fellow Americans understand the row by creating a video montage of the US TV networks reporting on the Romneyshambles.
But will Romney's gaffes cause him that much sweat? US political blog Commentary observes: "There's no reason for Republicans to panic... Those claiming Romney has sunk the special relationship... seem to forget that supporters of a president who gave Cameron's predecessor a set of movie DVDs that can't be played on British systems are in no position to squawk too much about minor diplomatic errors...
"While they are embarrassing... they are not the sort of thing that can do him serious political damage."
On the other hand, Romney is off to visit a diplomatic minefield - Israel - after attending tonight's Olympics opening ceremony. As ITV News journalist Tim Gatt put it on Twitter: "So Mitt Romney is off to Israel next. What could go wrong..? Oh."