Oh, boy. Where to start? The first day of Mitt Romney's foreign policy trip (Anglo-Saxon edition) was just one long, drawn-out bumble.
- Mitt started the day saying he met with the head of MI6, which you are not supposed to do, because MI6 is the British version of Fight Club. Aside from being awkward, it also immediately deflates the Mitt theory that Mitt can be trusted with secrecy more than that nasty Obama fellow.
- Mitt then proceeds to question, in London, to Londoners, whether London will be able to pull off the Olympic Games:
"You know, it's hard to know just how well it will turn out," Romney said. "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."
- This pissed off the prime minister, David Cameron, who responded by noting of the Romney-headed Salt Lake City games that it must have been "easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere."
- That in turn pissed off the current mayor of Salt Lake City, who offered to send David Cameron a map of the place.
- And Mitt apologized, which is something he has said a president should never, ever do.
- Mitt apparently forgets the name of the leader of the opposition Labour Party that he's currently meeting with, and has nice things to say about 10 Downing Street's backside, which in addition to being the usual awkward Romney framing is awkward for an entirely different reason:
Firstly, in Britain, "backside" means "ass". As in the part of the body. Secondly, "10 Downing Street" is often used in political reporting as a synonym for a press spokesman for the prime minister, in the same way as "the White House" can say things or have opinions.It means "ass" here in America too. As in "I would like to introduce you to Mitt Romney, a very wealthy American backside."
- The British reaction to Mitt's visit quickly went from tepid to mocking, with even stalwart British conservatives calling it a "total car crash" and "worse than Sarah Palin".
- The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, continued the trend:
- By the end of the day even the White House had weighed in, presumably just to charitably help Mitt out a bit, with spokesman Jay Carney noting:
In keeping with our special relationship, the President also made it clear that he has the utmost confidence in our close friend and ally, the United Kingdom, as they finalize preparations to host the London Olympics.
- Oh, and Mitt also found himself hammered for having a posh fundraiser with employees from Barclays, which is currently embroiled in scandal over manipulations of the critical LIBOR index. I guess Mitt Romney's relationship with the wealthy backsides of other countries are just as strong as his relationship with the backsides in our own nation.
So day one of Mitt Romney's foreign policy tour was a complete and total disaster. Next stop, the Middle East!