The foreign tour that Mitt Romney has embarked on, starting in London and heading to Poland and Israel, has started off with a bust. A big bust. First, there was the anonymous quote about "Anglo-Saxon heritage" and how the White House does not understand it-- denied officially by the campaign, but the Telegraph, while conservative, it is not a Murdoch-owned paper, is a competent example of journalistic ethics, so I tend to believe the reporter.
It's just the sort of stupid thing the campaign would do, allow a high-level spokesman to go off the record, and even suggest that the misunderstanding is due to Obama's African heritage, then let the reporter run with it.
However bad that came off, and it did not play well either in the US or the UK, what Mitt said about the biggest party in London in decades came off even more ham-fisted:
Mr. Romney also stirred the British press with comments in an NBC News interview Wednesday evening, by indicating he wasn't sure if London was fully prepared for the Olympic Games.Now, Mitt of course speaks with the experience of having run an Olympics of his own, sort of. See, we'll never fully know how involved he really was because he refuses to release the records of those games, and Mitt quit in 2002 to run for governor of Massachussetts.
"It's hard to know just how well it...will turn out," Mr. Romney said in the interview. "There are a few things that were disconcerting, the stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials, that obviously is not something which is encouraging."
Mr. Romney said the success of the games will depend on the athletes, volunteers and citizens uniting for the moment.
"Do they come together and celebrate the Olympic moment?" Mr. Romney said. "That's something which we only find out once the games actually begin."
Say, what is it with Republicans and quitting before a job is done, anyway?
The records have apparently been destroyed, despite pledging the most transparent Games AND receiving almost a billion and a half dollars in state and Federal financing.
Oh. And he got much of that money by registering as a lobbyist.
So much, I guess, for private enterprise and "We did do that"...
But let's get back to London: that Romney could insult not only his hosts, but the very people he hopes to impress enough to endorse his foreign policy qualifications, makes this more than just a faux pas. it puts Romney in a very bad place, and puts hosts like Prime Minister David Cameron into the position of either standing with Mitt or standing with the current and likely-to-be-re-elected President.
That's not a place Cameron would wish to put England, "special relationship" and all. There's not a whole lot worse things Mitt could do on this trip, except maybe point out that one of his ancestors was part of the Prussian army during the war with Austria, in which Poland was annexed.
Oh. Right. There was a Romney ancestor in that war...