Yeah, from the outside, it’s great fun watching.
Mitt Romney handed Barack Obama a potential gift for the US presidential election campaign when the presumptive Republican nominee blundered on his first diplomatic outing by questioning whether London was capable of staging a successful Olympic Games.
In a move that astonished Downing Street, hours before it laid on a special reception for Romney at No 10, he told NBC there were “disconcerting” signs about the preparations for the Games. One senior Whitehall source said: “What a total shocker. We are speechless.”
David Cameron wasted no time in rebuking Romney hours after his remarks were broadcast. On a visit to the Olympic Park, the prime minister said: “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.”
Cameron’s remarks were intended to be a light-hearted jibe at Romney, who used his famous management skills honed at Bain Capital to rescue the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Boris Johnson, the London mayor, joined in the jibes at a celebration to greet the Olympic torch in Hyde Park. “I hear there’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we’re ready,” Johnson yelled from the stage to a cheering crowd.
“He wants to know whether we’re ready. Are we ready? Are we ready? Yes, we are.”
If you read on, you also learn that he talked about meeting with the head of MI6 which you are not supposed to do!
And he met with Ed Miliband, the leader of the opposition Labour party. And promptly failed to answer questions from the press and referred to Mr. Milliband as “Mr. Leader”. Presumably because he forgot his name.
At that point, saying “Mr. Leader” in a Jerry Lewis voice would have been an improvement.
And then there’s the matter of the fundraiser.
Tickets to the event, which were originally priced at between $25,000 and $75,000, were being given away for just $1,000 a few hours before the event, UK right wing blogger Guido Fawkes tweets. Milo Yiannopoulos, a UK tech blogger, says he was offered a free ticket to the event three times.
Normally, this would be the be exactly the sort of post that would scream for a “Republicans shooting themselves in the Foot” tag. But these are not normal times.
Mitt Romney has spent most of this election cycle pandering to the extreme right of the GOP. And seriously, how do you think they’ll react to these gaffs?
A: “This is terrible. We need a President who knows how to handle himself in international situations.
B: “Who cares what a bunch of buck toothed, lime sucking, silly walkers think of Romney? At least he ain’t a socialist queerburger!”
If you said B, you are as officially as cynical as me. You also, like me, strongly suspect that on some level, they think “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” is a documentary series.
So yeah, he’s gaffing to beat the band but it’s not as damaging as we’d like it to be.
2012 is going to be a bruiser. We forget this at our peril.
EDIT: 7-31. Completed the sentence “At that point, saying “Mr. Leader” in a Jerry Lewis voice.”