Mitt’s European Summer Vacation


If someone doesn’t start explaining what’s going on here…well, there’s going to be some explaining to do! Arabs, Arabs, are they Arabs? Give them whatever they want.

National Lampoon’s Vacation with Chevy Chase (back when he was still funny) is still one of the best movies ever made. Chock full of laughs and gaffes. Just like Mitt’s European vacation! Except Mitt’s gaffes weren’t written in a script, they just came naturally. In what was supposed to be Mitt Romney’s first ever International Coming Out trip, the only thing coming out was the clear picture of a man who cannot help but screw up. The verbal gaffes, the blunders, the pandering were downright embarrassing in the end.

This was the trip to prove Mitt’s international cojones! The first stop was London for the easiest leg of the trip. All Mitt had to do was stop by, exclaim what a marvelous job they had done in preparation of the 2012 Summer Games, meet with a few muckety mucks, a few photo ops, and then off to Israel. Easy Peasy. No one expected too much action on this trip and Romney himself said he would abide a long-standing, universally respected tradition in American politics and not criticize the current president on foreign soil.

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And then, while the plane was not yet halfway over the Atlantic Ocean, it began. During an interview with a British newspaper an “unnamed” aide suggested that the Republican presidential hopeful could forge deeper ties to the United Kingdom than the president due to Romney’s heritage. “We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,” the adviser told the Telegraph. “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.” Oh, of course, because Obama is Kenyan, Black, you know, not White, except for his White mother from Kansas. But as we all know, facts are for sissy liberals. Evidently, so is respect and historical accuracy since the Normans demolished the Anglo Saxons during the Battle of Hastings on October 14, 1066. Brett Friedman, a blogger for the Marine Corps Gazette, hilariously wrote: “Glad Romney has a plan for Anglo-Saxon advancement. The Lombards and Visigoths are on the march, and the Frankish tribes grow restless.”

But one insensitive, history-challenged candidate’s aide should not color this otherwise simple trip of good will. Mitt has now landed and let the games begin. No, not the Olympics, the Rom-lympics, Gaffe-Fest 2012! If this were a sport, unlike the Romney sport of pounding nails into wood, Mitt is a medal contender! But to be a true competition, we need a scoreboard.

Let’s make scoring easy, 1-10, with 1 being fairly innocuous and 10 being a straight-up Gaffe-Lympic champion on par with Michael Phelps!

Event: London’s Olympic Preparedness

This should be so easy, considering that all he has to say is what a great job the city is doing, how fantastic everything looks and on and on with the platitudes.

And yet during an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams Romney said, “You know, it’s hard to know just how well it will turn out, there are 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 which is encouraging.”

Then to make sure we understood that the US Olympic spirit is so much better than the UK Olympic spirit, he went on to insult everyone! “Do they come together and celebrate the Olympic moment? And that’s something which we only find out once the Games actually begin.” he said.

SCORE: 8 (he could have said that he was too scared to stay, the Olympic Stadium looked rickety and the security looked like Benny Hill running in circles.)

Winner: Prime Minister David Cameron for this tasty quote: We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world,” the prime minister said. “Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.”

Event: The Name Game Part 1:

There are two parts to this game. The first is to remember the name of the person with whom you are meeting. Especially when there are press cameras in the room.

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At a press conference the possible-future-president of the United States referred to Ed Miliband the leader of the Labor Party, as ‘Mr Leader.’

Romney said: “Like you, Mr Leader, I look forward to our conversations this morning … and recognize, of course, the unique relationship that exists between our nations, our commitment to common values, our commitment to peace in the world and our desire to see a stronger and growing economy.”

SCORE: 9. Mitt, this isn’t hard, he is your UK counterpart, his name is ED, its two letters!!!

Winner: No one, because this twit is an actual Presidential Candidate. Well at least he didn’t call him Dear Leader.

Event: Name Game Part 2:

Now, this is the part of the game that shows how Mitt can keep a secret and NOT name the person with whom he just met. This was a private meeting between the very secretive MI6 head Sir John Sawers and Mitt. As The Guardian pointed out, MI6 was not officially acknowledged until 1994.

This meeting was not on his public schedule and therefore was not to be spoken about, especially at another press conference.

“I can only say that I appreciated the insights and perspectives of the leaders of the government here and opposition here as well as the head of MI6 as we discussed Syria and the hope for a more peaceful future for that country,” Romney told reporters at a press conference Thursday.

SCORE: 7. Well at least he didn’t mention Sir John Sawyers by name in front of the MI6 headquarters with a giant spinning Arrow Sign saying “Spies Inside.”

Winner: MI6 – because they sound sexier than CIA and they have James Bond.

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Finally Mitt leaves England, his wife, and her prancing horse and jets off for Israel on the Pander Express.

Event: Fun-Raiser!

Now I did not expect Romney to go to Israel to do much but ask for money from Americans living in Israel and get the Wailing Wall photo op out of the way. Right out of the box, he was forced to cancel a high-price dinner fundraiser in the nation because it was scheduled for a Jewish day of fasting, Tisha B’Av, which commemorates Jewish tragedies including the Holocaust. Accordingly, the day has been called the “saddest day in Jewish history. It is traditionally a day of fast when restaurants in Israel are closed by law. It was reported that Romney’s campaign knew the significance of the date, but planned the fundraiser anyway, hoping a ‘small meeting but a big fundraiser’ wouldn’t offend his Israeli supporters. “Dietary laws will be observed. Refreshments will not be served until after the fast,” read the invitation to the event.

Clearly the Jewish Holy Days have NOT been included in his fundraising calendar. Does Mitt even have a Jewish staff member? Or a Jewish calendar?

SCORE: 7.5. The event was re-scheduled after the backlash and outrage towards Romney and staff. But he still raised over 1 million dollars during the event which was attended by none other than Mr. PAC-Man, Sheldon Adelson who was not so outraged.

Winner: The Jewish people for schooling Romney on what Holy Day actually means.

Event: Culture Wars

The age old conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians is complicated, sensitive and seemingly impossible to solve. There are so many elements – power, land, religion, centuries of mistrust between the Arabs and the Jews, not many people are truly qualified to speak with any authority on the subject. But that hasn’t stopped Mitt!

Addressing a small crowd of American citizens at the King David Hotel, Romney noted that during his business career he had been interested in the economic disparities among nations. He said, “If you could learn anything from the economic history of the world it’s this: culture makes all the difference. And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things. One, I recognize the hand of providence in selecting this place.”

Saeb Erekat, a top aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas shot back: “It is a racist statement, and this man doesn’t realize that the Palestinian economy cannot reach its potential because there is an Israeli occupation,” Erekat said. “It seems to me this man lacks information, knowledge, vision, and understanding of this region and its people.”

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SCORE: 7.5. I suppose his choice of words is simply Palin-esque, said without thinking or understanding the subject. So I gave an extra .5 for willful ignorance.

Winner: Palestine, finally some good press!

Event: #$%^*% Poland

Finally, Romney’s European Vacation came to rest in Poland which should be another easy stop to honor the war dead at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw’s Pilsudski Square. Until Romney’s traveling Press Secretary Rich Gorka had just about enough of the press’s outrageous questioning of the candidate. Here is the transcript of the erudite aide’s frustration with the pesky press asking pesky questions. CNN has a transcript and footage of the tiff, which unfolded as follows:

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CNN: “Governor Romney are you concerned about some of the mishaps of your trip?”

NYT: “Governor Romney do you have a statement for the Palestinians?”

Washington Post: “What about your gaffes?”

NYT: “Governor Romney do you feel that your gaffes have overshadowed your foreign trip?”

CNN: “Governor Romney just a few questions, sir, you haven’t taken but three questions on this trip from the press!”

Gorka: “Show some respect.”

NYT: “We haven’t had another chance to ask a question …”

Gorka: “Kiss my ass. This is a Holy site for the Polish people. Show some respect.”

Then the finale, where Gorka tells Jonathan Martin, reporter for to “shove it.”

SCORE: 10! What a perfect ending!

Winner: The Press for actually garnering sympathy!

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But the Losers are the American People. How can we take this candidate seriously when he can’t go on a 5-day non-political, goodwill tour of 3 countries which are our allies without insulting his hosts and embarrassing himself again and again. Romney has become as much fodder for late night comedians as was the ex-Gov. Palin, and I thought that was impossible!

The Losers are the Republican Party which has veered so far to the right they might fall off the flat earth. Yes, some in the GOP actually believe the earth is flat and dinosaurs ruled with man 6,000 years ago. The GOP has no one to blame but themselves, they picked him. But if we are smart, the country won’t pick this pandering, easily bought, told-what-to-think, foreign-policy novice who still thinks The Soviet Union is our biggest geo-political foe.