Romney Gaffs and Gaffs Again
Here is a brief rundown on the failure of Mitt Romneys overseas visit, in the case where he may have had a chance, but his ineptness, ignorance and simple disregard to get proper briefing prior to his overseas trip turned it into quite a media debacle.
The reaction from the UK media to the Republican presidential hopeful’s charm offensive was decidedly lukewarm on Friday morning. “‘Nowhere man’ Romney loses his way with gaffe about the Games,” wrote the Times, while the Daily Mail quipped over a double-page spread: “Who invited party-pooper Romney?” The Independent seized on the play doing the rounds on “omnishambles” – the quip first coined on the satire The Thick Of It but cleverly appropriated by the Labour leader Ed Miliband: “Romneyshambles: Mitt begins his trip with a swipe at London.” And to really put the boot in, a quote from one British diplomat in the Times described the former governor of Massachusetts’s performance as “worse than Palin” – a reference to the gaffe-prone Republican former vice-presidential candidate.
It doesn’t get much worse than that for someone who was hoping to boost his profile abroad, raise funds and canvass support among the capital’s American community before the November elections. All that he appears to have achieved by suggesting that the country was not behind the Games was to create that very British unity that he worried might be lacking when the Olympic moment arrived.
The man who served as chief executive of the successful Salt Lake City winter Olympics in 2002 kicked off his first day in London with an interview with the US news channel NBC in which he both questioned the readiness of London 2012, saying there had been “disconcerting signs” in the buildup to the Games, and wondered whether the British would “come together and celebrate the Olympic moment”.
He followed that up later in the morning by addressing Miliband as “mister leader”. Labour sources later insisted this was not a disguised attempt to cover the fact that he couldn’t remember the Labour leader’s name but part of the American custom of addressing politicians by title, such as “Mr President”.
Trouble is he wasn’t in America at the time, and British protocol should have prevailed. Would he call Her Majesty “Madame Queen” if he was given the opportunity to meet her? Among his other blunders was letting slip he had a briefing with John Sawers, the head of MI6, and welcoming the view “out the backside of Downing Street” where the Olympic beach volleyball events are taking place.
And yes, if you are going to visit MI 6,you do not say you are going to visit MI 6.
If he puts all of this on his twitter account what do you think it would be called? #mitttwit