This was clearly not the trip that he had planned but politicians must play with the cards they are dealt, especially when they do the dealing. For Mitt Romney the cards he and his staff dealt created a side-show out of a goodwill trip.
Firstly, to have an aide make an inane remark about the 'Anglo-Saxon' heritage between the U.S. and the U.K. to a major British newspaper, and then add that the White House doesn't get that, presumably because they are lead by a black man, and then to not issue a real and intelligent apology, is incomprehensible. You and I would have known the comment was unwise, untrue, unneeded and unhelpful.
And had one of our minions said it we'd have issued a response along these lines: "The remark by one of my staff that there is a 'Anglo-Saxon' understanding between our countries, and one the President doesn't get, was not appropriate. I have made that staff member aware that the prevalent connection is the wonderful multicultural natures of our two countries. Further, each of our history is one of different ethnic groups uniting, not simply of Anglo-Saxons. We cherish our connection to the U.K., admire them for bringing so many groups together in one country, and doing it so successfully, and look forward to remaining great friends with them." Simple, no?
Romney becomes 'Mitt the Snit'
Then came Mitt himself. He made disparaging remarks about the readiness of the London 2012 Games, days before they began and only hours after he'd landed in England on a jaunt intended to introduce himself as an international player. It does not take the political equivalent of a rocket scientist to know those remarks were inadvisable. The only explanation was that he was trying to trump himself up as having been the leader of the Salt Lake City games in 2002. So he took a shot at friends to make himself look better. And it backfired.
They're calling him 'Mitt the Snit' over there now, the American Mr. Bean. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron berated him publicly, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, mocked him in Hyde Park during his speech before a pre-Olympic concert. It's a disaster and his staff must be scrambling to try and get him out of there Saturday without his tail between his legs.
Two more stops on the trip, Israel and Poland. He'll now have to keep a low-profile on a trip that was supposed to raise his profile, a difficult thing to do. But another gaffe of the magnitude of his stumbles in the U.K. during the remainder of the trip will not only make him a further embarrassment to himself - but one to his country.
He can still rebound and win the U.S. election, some studies suggest these kinds of gaffes don't bother most voters. Regardless, he'll have to work that much harder to drastically reduce his mistakes from here on in. But given that he dealt the cards, Mitt Romney has no one to blame for that but himself.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com