Now that the savior of the crumbling Salt Lake City Olympics and presumptive Republican presidential nominee has passed through London, liberals are suddenly horrified at the prospect of a United States president treating the British shabbily.
At the start of his visit to attend the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics last week, Romney noted to Brian Williams that Great Britain’s lack of preparations was a bit “disconcerting.”
This probably had something to do with the fact that the security firm contracted to oversee the Olympics didn’t supply enough workers, which forced the British military to supplement these with several thousand troops. Also, British immigration officials had threatened a disruptive strike during the Olympics, which they didn’t call off until two days before the opening ceremonies.
Also, Romney may have been disconcerted because organizers posted welcome signs in mistranslated Arabic and designed a swimming pool that prevented spectators from seeing the divers.
Also, London cops lost the keys to Wembley Stadium.
In response to Romney’s comment, left-wing British papers branded him “Mitt the Twit.”
Isn’t it natural for a man who left his career in capital management to work 16-hour-days to rescue the Olympics, to have an opinion on how other cities run their Olympic events? Even Brits have been complaining endlessly about the London Olympics since at least 2008.
• One month in, Obama unceremoniously removed the bust of Winston Churchill that Tony Blair had given President Bush after 9/11 as a sign of solidarity. Obama’s gesture was interpreted as a symbolic rejection of the special relationship between the U.S. and the UK.
• One month later, Obama refused to give Prime Minister Gordon Brown a proper welcome upon his first visit to the White House under its new occupant. A State Department staff member later sniped, “There’s nothing special about Britain. You’re just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn’t expect special treatment.”
• During that trip to the United States, Brown gave Obama a desk set made out of timber from an anti-slave ship whose sister vessel was used to craft the Oval Office’s Resolute Desk. In return, Obama tossed Brown a box of DVDs of such films as E.T. and The Graduate—discs that were unreadable by Region 2 UK DVD players.
• In April 2009, Obama gifted the Queen with an iPod clogged with his inauguration snapshots and boring speeches. The Queen reportedly already had an iPod, presumably loaded with pictures of people she was actually fond of and audio files she intended to play.
• In January 2011, Obama told French President Nicolas Sarkozy that France was “our strongest ally.” This statement was made just after a seven-year stint in which the British lost hundreds of soldiers while aiding the U.S. in Iraq, and in which France lost not one.
• In May 2011, Obama offended British scientists by refusing to accept the Royal Society’s King Charles II medal for research that he had funded in the U.S. Obama chose instead to play ping-pong with students at an inner-city school in South London.
• Last month, Obama publicly referred to the Falkland Islands as “the Maldives,” in a failed attempt to use the Argentineans’ name (Malvinas) for the island chain. Obama intentionally disrespected Brits by implying that this long-held UK territory was the rightful property of Argentina.
This string of embarrassments reflects shocking disrespect toward the U.S.’s greatest ally and a stunning ignorance of foreign protocol. In this context, Romney’s indiscretion resembles suave flirtation.
Romney’s rescuing of the nearly-insolvent 2002 Winter Olympics was the single most uncontroversial, impressive accomplishment of his career. In a new ad from the Super-PAC Restore Our Future, 2002 Winter Olympics gold medal-winning athletes congregated to sing his praises.
Liberals couldn’t care less about offending genuine U.S. allies like Great Britain and Israel. Having mischaracterized Romney’s governorship of Massachusetts and slandered his tenure at Bain Capital, they’re merely using the Brits to taint by association Romney’s final remaining uncontested accomplishment.