Is Mitt Romney the worst ever presidential candidate from a major party?

by Nikhil Dyundi

Carl Lewis said it best about Mitt Romney’s little foreign tour: “Seriously, some Americans just shouldn’t leave the country.”

Damn right.

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.

Mittens’ awkward words about the Olympics were eminently predictable to anyone who saw his efforts during the primary campaign to try to connect with petrol-head NASCAR fans by saying some of his friends owned some teams.  But it’s Romney’s mistakes on the big issues that are really jaw dropping.

Despite the neck and neck national polls, over the past few weeks, surveys in the battleground states have begun to tick Obama’s way with opinion among even Republicans pointing to the Obama ads on Romney’s time running venture capitalists, Bain, as the principal reason.

There has barely been a coherent response from the Romney campaign. He has been either running for president or preparing to run for president for the last decade, and still he doesn’t have an answer to the most elementary attack.

Then there is the controversy over when Romney actually relinquished control over Bain.

Mittens’ has always maintained it was 1999. Which is fine, except that Bain’s filings with the SEC have Romney down as CEO, chair and sole stockholder until 2002; a time when Bain made big money outsourcing and downsizing their way to record profits.

Again, as the story has raged and the SEC filings have been flashed up on every news programme, the Romney line has been to say he played no active part in the running of Bain from 1999 onwards. The SEC documentation has been dismissed as a minor technicality.

That would be a technicality in the same way that any one of us signing a contract of ownership on a property is just a legal nicety that doesn’t mean much.

The Romney evasion on Bain has latterly given wings to the most effective  line of attack: the mysterious tax returns.

Publishing his tax returns for the period 1999 to 2002 would settle whether Romney benefited from Bain’s decisions. Naturally Mittens has refused. Just as he refused to publish his most recent returns during the primary campaign, until, of course, media pressure meant he had to.

This time, Romney seems determined. He’s not publishing and has wheeled out the most amazing reason,

“In the political environment that exists today, the opposition research of the Obama campaign is looking for anything they can use to distract from the failure of the president to reignite our economy. I’m simply not enthusiastic about giving them hundreds or thousands of more pages to pick through, distort and lie about.”

In other words, “there is something really bad in there that will be used against me so I’m not going to come clean”.

Even if this is the case, and it’s debatable what could be worse than having the opposition campaign paint their own picture of horrors in the tax returns, why would a candidate admit this as the reason? There is no higher ground in this rebuttal line.

In the past, insane positions from a candidate have been the result of ideology. Policy has been the problem. This time, uniquely, it’s the candidate’s judgement that causes the problems.

There isn’t an issue or tactic he can’t mess up. That’s why Mitt Romney is setting a new benchmark standard and  rewriting the rule-book about how not to fight an election campaign.

Nikhil Dyundi is a registered Democrat

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3 Responses to “Is Mitt Romney the worst ever presidential candidate from a major party?”

  1. swatantra says:

    There was of course Jimmy Carter, but then he went on to win the Presidency. Hopefully Mitt won’t do that.

  2. Qwerty says:

    I thought Obama was pretty lame. No experience, just barely four years as a Senator, his main selling point was being black, hardly enough to become president. I was proven right, as it took him two years to become president. It was already too late to do anything about the economy… Aaaaaah but he did marvellous speech and was taller than Mac Cain. Seemed to be enough for most Americans, including Nikhil Dyundi I bet…

  3. sex dolls says:

    Once we knew we were secure and safe we went into the enclosure to retrieve Sarah.

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