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Another Mitt-Stake: Romney's 2012 World Tour

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Not thoughtful; not smart. 

Boston, MA -- Further evidence that Mitt's a nit-wit.  It was on July 24 that Mitt Romney touched down in the U.K. for what was to be a sort of mini-world tour designed to showcase Romney's foreign policy bona fides; resurrect fond memories of Mitt's 2002 Winter Olympics glory days; and suck a few dry C-notes from a bunch of high-rolling money-folders, specifically, casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson's peeps over in Israel. 

By now we all know how well that worked out. Mitt carried himself with the kind of stature befitting the Travelocity Gnome. Sure, he came home lugging a several million dollar shitload of money; but that's about it. As for the remaining goals, the Romney campaign might as well have made Charlie Sheen a surrogate and sent him abroad instead. Romney's diplomatic follies during that brief Euro-Middle East tour make Sheen's crack-ish antics during his "epic" "Violent Torpedo of Truth, Defeat is not an Option" tour last year seem like an evening in Newport on smooth jazz night. 

Romney's gaffes have exceeded epic proportions. Largely on his own, he's constructing himself as the epitome of political non-acuity. Not since Sarah Palin has a politician provided such a perplexing mix of knee-slapping diplomatic hilarity and head-scratching political ineptitude both at home, and now abroad. What's more, the word from the U.K. is that Romney was "worse than Palin," making his trip perhaps the zaniest incursion anywhere by an American public figure since the Muppets took Manhattan.   

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Mitt's moved beyond the tipping point of being merely objectified by his opposition; he's now become adjective-ized if you will. We've reached the point at which now, the word "Romney" is synonymous with a flood of politically negative adjectives -- inept; ignorant; detached; wooden; aloof; insipid; or thoughtless, to name a few. We're perhaps one mega-gaffe away from ushering in an era where virtually any act of downright political stupidity will be thought of as "a Romney."  

As in: "Wow! Senator So-and-So sure pulled a Romney during that speech." 

Managing Mitt is no easy chore. Thus, not surprisingly -- in light of a campaign for president marked by the media's focus on Mitt's gaffes and overall political ineptitude -- there have been no calls from the Romney campaign that the press "let Mitt be Mitt." More likely, Mitt's handlers stay locked in a constant state of fingers, arms, and leg-crossed readiness in expectation of the next amazingly "WTF" remark that would force their crafting of yet another rhetorical walk-back. Eric Fehrnstrom, a key Romney advisor who once was a beat reporter for the Boston Herald -- my hometown's seedy sister publication of the even seedier New York Post -- perhaps finds himself challenged in a way not experienced since his days of twisting and re-angling his local reporting to fit the Herald's conservative agenda-driven agit-prop. 

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But how does one spin such an ironclad fiasco? Mitt was uproariously laughed out of England after his snooty remarks about British preparedness for the Olympics. In Israel, his yada-yada about Palestinian/Israeli cultural differences, Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and his eagerness to unload a bit of shock and awe on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad left knowledgeable Middle East watchers in open mouthed amazement at the level of naivete implicit in his remarks. 

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Anthony Barnes, of Boston, Massachusetts, is a free-lance writer who leans toward the progressive end of the political spectrum. "When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to (more...)
 
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