Willard "Mitt" "Mittens" Romney is in Great Britain right now, where the 2012 Olympic Games are what we in the character assassination / blog game call "a big deal."
Such trips are part of the checklist for anyone running for president in the United States - a quick tour of various foreign lands of major or minor significance is a way for candidates to shore up their foreign policy bona fides, extend a friendly handshake to US allies - it's basically a debutante ball for American politicians stepping onto (or at least trying to step onto) the world stage.
It was with some dyspeptic amusement, then, that I watched Willard attempt to step onto stage, and then instead step into a big, steaming pile of controversy and negative press.
Willard was giving your standard trip-abroad interview to Pers Morgan, when he said the following:
"There were 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 that is encouraging."
Okay, right off the bat, I have to say that nothing Romney said is untrue, or even off-base. As the conservative American press was quick to note, the British press has covered all of the aforementioned issues and expressed the same concerns that Romney expressed. That same British press almost instantly proceeded to rip Romney a shiny new @$$hiole for his remarks, which is kind of silly and more than a little hypocritical.
Still, it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to realize that criticizing the preparation for the Olympic Games - when you are in the country hosting them, and ostensibly on a "good will" mission - is not a good idea. All Willard had to do on his trip to London was smile for the cameras, compliment his hosts, and keep his mouth shut about any misgivings he might have had about the proceedings. That's essentially something you would learn in Remedial Diplomacy.
|Romney and Cameron Meet Yesterday|
David Cameron, Britain's Conservative prime minister, fired back almost immediately:
"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 the Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere."
Cameron's snide little swipe at Salt Lake City, my city, the heart of the hive, was mean-spirited and stupid. If you want to talk smack about Mittens, by all means have at it. But to take a dump on SLC, host of the 2002 Winter Games (the Games that Romney was president of)? David Cameron, congratulations and welcome to my $h!t list.
|David Cameron, Grade-A Prick|
You see, Andy Coulson, a former top media adviser to Cameron, is neck-deep in the scandal and was criminally charged yesterday along with seven of his co-conspirators. It's bad enough that Cameron's media guru is involved in the scandal - more skeletons emerged when investigators explored the relationship between Cameron and Rebekah Brooks, a top lieutenant in Rupert Murdoch's army of darkness:
[Brooks] and her husband were neighbors of [David] Cameron, and they have admitted to exchanging frequent text messages and riding horses together.
The prime minister's judgement in the affair - particularly in his recruiting of Coulson as the Conservative Party's media chief in 2007, and his decision to take him to 10 Downing Street after the 2010 election, long after the hacking that took place on Coulson's watch at the News of the World became known - is already a major dent in Cameron's political armor. He has also faced extensive questioning as to whether his close relationship with the Murdoch elite have skewed government policy favourably toward the media mogul.So - David Cameron, toady to the evil Murdoch empire, wants to talk smack about my city? Take it away, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker:
"We'd welcome the opportunity to share all that we enjoy here with the prime minister, including a great number of assets that you would be hard-pressed to find in London - world class outdoor recreation, an economy that has prospered even through the recent economic recession, one of the best-educated populations in the world and a rare sense of community and commitment to progressive evolution... Cameron can stop by any time. We'd love to have him and are happy to send a map so he doesn't run into any trouble locating the middle of nowhere."