by Nikhil Dyundi
Carl Lewis said it best about Mitt Romney’s little foreign tour: “Seriously, some Americans just shouldn’t leave the country.”
I can say that, I’m American. But based on Mittens’ performance in the UK, Israel and Poland, you are fine to think it too.
It’s not just Romney saying he wasn’t sure about how the London Olympics would turn out as he began his visit to er, London, or that Israel’s superior culture is the reason for their greater wealth than the Palestinians. These are individual pratfalls. To get to the heart of Romney’s true anti-genius you need to understand that it’s his instinct which is truly remarkable.
No politician in modern times has had a more unerring ability to make the wrong judgement in any given situation. Sure there have been politicians that have been on the wrong side of public opinion. Lots of guys have taken a beating in a poll.
The Dems had George McGovern in 1972 crash to a truly epic defeat and there was Barry Goldwater for the GOP in 1964 bringing tea party crazy to the peace and love decade. Walter Mondale was wiped out by Reagan in 1984 – he lost every state but his own and DC – and Bob Dole never got near to Clinton in 1996.
But in each of these defeats, the candidates were out of step with their time and the electorate. As professional politicians, they might not have been the outstanding talents of their generation, but they were competent. Most of the time, you don’t get to be the nominee unless there is some ability there.
In this country, you’ve had people like Michael Foot and William Hague. Neither would make a pantheon of great party leaders, but as statesmen they had their talents.
The thing with Mittens is that unlike this list of gallant trans-atlantic losers, he doesn’t even have the basics.
Romney gets everything, be it major or minor, wrong.