The race for the White House will soon kick into high gear, and it’s amazing to me that Mitt Romney is even close in the polls, let alone could win. He has run a lackluster campaign and comes across as a phony, duplicitous, flip-flopping hypocrite. Though he does have nice hair.
Romney’s positions on many issues have changed so much over the years, no one knows who the heck he is. He has been for and against abortion rights, the assault weapon ban, campaign spending limits, gays in the military, global warming, immigration, the TARP bailouts, privatizing Social Security, and universal health care. Romney has even given different answers as to whether he owns a gun.
Romney has staked his candidacy on his business acumen. But his record at Bain raises more questions than it answers. Flipping companies and extracting exorbitant fees is not rocket science. If anything, Romney’s refusal to release his tax returns indicates he has something serious to hide.
Granted, President Obama has not delivered on all the hope and change that many expected. But Obama was dealt a lousy hand following the economic collapse and his administration has been mostly scandal free. Not starting a phony war and killing Osama bin Laden should count for something. That’s why Obama clobbers Romney in the polls on questions about honesty and character.
In fact, the high unemployment and the shaky economy are the only reasons the race is close. But let’s face it: There’s only so much anyone in the Oval Office can do to “fix” the economic disaster Obama inherited. A deeply divided Washington makes it difficult for any president to get things done. The current Congress has taken partisanship and gridlock to a new extreme. And while no one would ever admit to this, it does seem like racism is behind the hate some voters have for Obama.
Meanwhile, trying to determine which Romney would show up in the White House has been difficult at best. But after watching the former Massachusetts governor stumble through his recent trip to Europe, it is downright scary to think of him with his hand on the proverbial nuclear button.
Ironically, the trip was designed to showcase Romney as a statesman, ready to take on the thorny and nuanced issues surrounding foreign affairs. Instead, he looked like an arrogant amateur.
Romney began his trip by offending the people of Great Britain by calling security issues surrounding the London Olympics “disconcerting.” One British tabloid responded with the headline “Mitt the Twit.”
Romney’s gaffe fest moved to Israel, where he went to pander and raise money. Romney’s big misstep came when he said “culture” was the main reason why Israel was so much more prosperous than the occupied territories under control of the Palestinian Authority.
Even conservative commentator Peggy Noonan wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Romney’s put-down of the Palestinians was “lacking in size and heft.” Translation: He looked small and not presidential.
It goes without saying the Middle East has been a complicated mess for decades. Brokering peace there has been elusive and takes real skill. Romney, of course, offered no real solutions and tried to sound like a trigger-happy hawk ready to run roughshod over Palestine. Romney also declared he would use “any and all measures” necessary to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons. That may sound extra tough but that is the same position as Obama’s.
The main point of the Israel trip was to raise money and impress his main sugar daddy, billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who tagged along and has donated millions to a Super PAC tied to Romney.
Adelson, whose Las Vegas Sands casino company is under federal investigation for possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and money laundering laws, is on record as saying he will spend whatever it takes to defeat Obama. What Adelson will want in return is the question. Indeed, Adelson is reportedly pressing Romney to release Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard if the Republican wins the White House. Pollard, a former Naval officer, was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for selling U.S. secrets to Israel. That won’t be the last request.
As Romney wrapped up the trip with a stop in Poland, his campaign spokesman told reporters shouting questions at Romney to “kiss my ass.” The aide, Rick Gorka, told another reporter to “shove it.”
Stay classy, Rick. Clearly, he and Romney are not ready for prime time.