Man, for a CEO or whatever he was, this man, Mitt Romney, is a stone blunderbuss. He’s slinking back to the U.S. with his tail between his legs (come to think of it, probably about how his pooch felt on the roof of the family car), no doubt with wild thoughts about how to make a silk purse out of the sow’s ear that was his London tour.
Here’s a news flash: Being presidential is an attitude, an attitude that conveys confidence, authority, compassion, warmth, honesty, integrity, toughness and, most of all, good personal character. Granted, many presidents have really sucked at the whole “presidential” thing, but history shows that the absence of presidential qualities are deal-breakers for wannabe presidents. In 2007, the chairman of George W’s 2004 re-election campaign said, “Voters only look at policies as a lens into what type of person the candidate is.” Character, and likability, matters; and actually, there’s probably something to that whole “beer test” question.
Bad break, Mitt. Being a desperate lout – and publicly humiliated to boot – aren’t likely to get you checks in the “presidential” column.
See, here’s the thing: Mitt Romney’s an insecure clod, an oaf, a dork, a classic meanie and bully, a socially inept, plastic, robotic Ken doll (with a matching cloddish, oafish, elitist wife) who takes quick little mincing steps and has a little nervous laugh and blurts out offensive absurdities at every turn, who giggles inappropriately and makes prep school jokes that go “thud,” and who positively reeks of desperation. Who even likes him, besides his wife and the crew of kids that demonstrates an ability to hyper-breed? The only thing he has going for him, particularly with the teabagging crowd or some extreme right-wingers, is that he’s not President Obama. And even that crowd, voting for the anti-Obama, doesn’t like him very much. They don’t like him because you can’t put a square peg in a round hole; you can’t trust someone who’s untrustworthy, you can’t like someone who’s, at bottom, largely unlikable, and you can’t feel warm toward someone who treats the collective “you” as minions. Right-wing Americans have fallen off the cliff in their collective extremism, but even in conservative circles, the uneasiness in the air about candidate Romney is nearly palpable.
Romney’s trip to Europe was astonishing in its utter failure (and, of course, a gift to those of us who have been waiting for Romney to not only stumble, but to fall flat on his face). Romney’s Terrible Horrible Very Bad Week even had conservatives Karl Rove and Charles Krauthammer scratching their heads, wondering how a trip that should have been like shooting fish in a barrel could have become so disastrous. Insulting the organizers of the London Olympics (and being widely mocked, as a result, all across the world), stirring the pot in Israel, poking a stick in a hornet’s nest by ginning up a culture war between Israel and Palestine, being called a racist, hosting a fund-raising dinner on a day of fasting, pissing off the Solidarity (labor) movement, and, icing on the cake, having his campaign spokesman tell the press to “shove it” and “kiss my ass.”
It was a beautiful thing. Well, unless you’re Mitt.
Every time we turn around Romney’s either putting his foot in or taking his foot out of his mouth, and every time he chews on his wingtip, his camp claims, like clockword, that the recitation of it by the media or pundits was “grossly mischaracterized.” This, from a campaign who’s only strategy appears to be endlessly running a clip of President Obama saying, “You didn’t build this,” a quote taken wholly out of context and actually — given the complete vacuum in which the Romney-clones created the ad — made up out of whole cloth. Some things are gross mischaracterizations, such as the Obama clip; some things, however, like Romney-gaffes, are accurate quotes that get played over and over simply because people like a good belly laugh once in a while.
From Etch-a-Sketch to Flip-Flopper-in-Chief to #Romney Shambles to “Mitt the Twit” to Romney-gaffes, this dude is making Sarah Palin look like Einstein. And his escape out of the country didn’t make the problems back home disappear. In fact, according to Harry Reid (whose source was a Bain Capital buddy of Mitt’s), Mitt paid zero taxes on millions of dollars for ten years. Good reason not to release his tax returns; also a good reason for the Obama camp to keep pressing for them. His “unforced errors” tour is gonna seem like a kiss from his sister when he realizes what awaits him here. In fact, in a new poll, President Obama is winning in a trio of swing states, carried, despite the economy, largely because of his personal appeal.
A well-known pundit had this to say about Romney’s horrifying London Olympics gaffe: “What Romney answered in that question, it’s unbelievable, it’s beyond human understanding, it’s incomprehensible. I’m out of adjectives . . . All Romney has to do is say nothing. It’s like a guy in the 100-meter dash. All he has to do is to finish, he doesn’t have to win. And instead, he tackles the guy in the lane next to him and ends up disqualified. I don’t get it.” No, it wasn’t Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, not Lawrence O’Donnell, not Rachel Maddow, not Jay Carney and not David Axelrod. It was Charles Krauthammer, conservative-in-chief.
It’s truly a Scooby-Dooby-Doo, gulp-able moment when a Republican presidential candidate is so astonishingly bad that even a savvy politico like Fox News pundit Charles Krauthammer can’t find the words to redeem him.
Image source: Democratic Underground