July 30th, 2012
By Bifford Caulfield -- Romney continues to add to the mounting evidence that he is not Presidential "timber" by insulting long-time ally
Great Britain over Olympic security and other issues -- and then moves right on to Israel, where he pledged strong support to Israel --- rattled sabres in the direction of Iran -- and then insults the Palestinians with what was essentially "racist" remarks, and then commented that it was "a deeply moving experience to be in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel", which it is not. Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel.
"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," he said. He also allowed that the "hand of providence
" may have contributed to Israel’s economic dominance in the region.
His remarks understandably angered Palestinians, who immediately responded.
"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," said Saeb Erekat, a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
The issue of Jerusalem is also a delicate one; the city is a major symbol for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and is claimed to some extent by all. The international community does not recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital — except for Mitt Romney, that is.
Romney, in much the same way that George W. Bush did, continues to fuel the fires of speculation that he is at best a political and foreign affairs amateur -- in that he commits gaffs
and mispeaks of enormous portent and significance at almost every stop. Word swirled around throughout the GOP primary campaign that people did not like Romney, and that even people who found some affinity with his policy views and positions, nevertheless did not much care for him personally -- as a person. Now we are beginning to understand why -- and the full extent to which that may be the case. In many situations in past elections, Presidential campaigns have been fairly successful in preventing the public from getting a close up and personal sense of what the the person underneath the candidate is really like. In Romney's case, it has become almost impossible to hide now. Any time he is out in public -- and left a tiny window of time to just be himself -- the picture he presents of himself is of a tin-eared, curmudgeon of a fellow that is just not quite "with it" -- who is way more than just a little bit "tone-deaf" and politically incorrect -- a significant liability in running for national office.
Most Americans, whether they agree with President Obama's policies or not -- begrudgingly admit that he is a decent, likable person. His personal favor-ability ratings, despite taking a slight hit as the contentiousness of the campaign ratchets up -- are still pretty high. Romney, not only able to gain much ground in the favor ability ratings
-- seems to have a knack for knocking them back down every time they show the slightest inclination to rise a bit. He just does not seem to quite be able to make the distinction between what naturally wants to tumble off his tongue -- and what is actually the politic way -- or thing -- or manner in which to say it. A major deficiency in a man who would be President -- it would seem to me.
Now -- if Romney would just release his income taxes for 10 or fifteen years -- so we can see how his personal financial habits and taxing paying pattern squares with his public policy pronouncements -- maybe we could be done with this pretend campaign for President -- once and for all.