WHEN YOU’RE TRYING to become the leader of the free world it’s tough out there.
But poor old Mitt Romney hasn’t done himself any favours by seemingly offending every single Briton while in the mean time doing little to bolster his foreign policy credentials.
The foreign trip during the US presidential campaign is a key test of whether or not a candidate is up to taking the White House but Republican hopeful Romney has not begun his European tour well at all.
First he seemed to criticise London’s ability to host the Olympic Games, then he seemed to forget the name of a pretty important man he just met, then he divulged sensitive information, then Boris Johnson took the mickey out of him, then the whole affair trended on Twitter.
It was bad and here’s how it unfolded…
England [sic] 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. And if it hadn’t been separated from the continent by water, it almost certainly would have been lost to Hitler’s ambitions. Yet only two lifetimes ago, Britain ruled the largest and wealthiest empire in the history of humankind. Britain controlled a quarter of the earth’s land and a quarter of the earth’s population.
Okay not a great start, but you know people might not notice that. After all it’s in a book and who reads them any more? They’re more likely to read about what is going in the world such as when an anonymous Romney adviser briefed the Daily Telegraph, saying:
We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special. The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.
Er, okay. Well luckily for Mitt, his campaign staffers distanced the candidate from that comment pretty sharpish, according to CBS News.
A set piece TV interview would take care of things surely? So, how did that interview with NBC News go? Er, not great:
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.
Britain didn’t like that much but luckily this “diplomatic incident” was smoothed over when British Prime Minister David Cameron was on hand to deliver what NY Mag called a “brutal sassing”:
We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.
The ‘nowhere’ is a reference to Romney’s involvement in the Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2002. Brutal sassing indeed.
Oh well, next is a meeting with the leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband. Just as long as he didn’t call him David, everything would be fine… but, er, ‘Mr Leader’? Really?
One to forget along with a meeting with the head of the Secret Intelligence Service MI6, Sir John Sawers. You see if only Mitt had forgot that meeting he wouldn’t have mentioned it to the media which is not something you’re supposed to do. Doh!
So it has been a bad trip, made worse by the indignity of being mocked by Boris Johnson. Who? The scruffy looking fella who’s Mayor of London. Oh dear:
YouTube: ThinkProgress TP
Alright, it’s bad, real bad. But it gets worse, first the political editor of the Daily Mail outlines just what officials REALLY thought of Romney including comparisons with Sarah Palin (not good ones) and then #RomneyShambles – a play on The Think Of It’s ‘Omnishambles’ – starts trending on Twitter.
Time to go home: