Mitt Romney is just screwing up. He's really actually starting to make me a more than a little concerned. Even though I am a Democrat at heart, I don't think Mitt Romney is incompetent. I mean, he's running for president, and has done so for eight years; that's gotta mean you can do something right, right? He's run a business and the Olympics in Utah as well as been governor of a state. We know he's probably a pretty good manager.
But he's starting to really concern me because the presidency is not just about management, it has some significant optical requirements, such as…well… the ability not to look like a prick or an a**hole to foreign nations. The people of those nations and even those of the one you represent may not like all your stances, but even George Bush 2 looked relatively presidential while he ran for office. Mitt Romney managed to turn a softball question from, of all places, NBC's Brian Williams into an insult to an ENTIRE COUNTRY. He continually picks, over and over again, the wrong thing, or something that feels really inauthentic, to say. All he had to do after being asked about the London Olympics was say, "They're doing a great job. I understand how tough it is to run one of things things…" He is essentially doing a Ms America tour: put on something pretty, smile, shake hands, and do the royal wave…then come on home looking presidential. But to mess up, not once, not twice, but THREE OR FOUR TIMES?!?! In under 8 HOURS?!?! On that same day, a member of his staff talked about re-establishing "anglo-saxon" unity, he pronounced that he met with the MI-6 super secret spy agency, and his wife has entered her pet horse (all I can do is sigh on that one…who in the hell has a pet horse that is not named Elizabeth Taylor starring in National Velvet) in the Olympics. (see me shaking my head in the way black women do when they see a man who just doesn't get it…mm mm mm)
The optics of this situation, added to all the other optics of him trying to be "down" but just not able to do it authentically really makes me think about how he would possibly run the country. This is a twitter, Facebook, I-gotta-cell-phone-and-can-take-a-picture/video-of everything-I see-and-post-it-on-youtube, kind of world. People may or may not like what Obama is doing, but they do basically like him. I may not have agreed with Reagan, but he understood how the optics of a situation can make or break policy negotiations between politicians and foreign actors.
This video of hard-core conservative Charles Krauthammer lamenting on Romney's fiasco of a day nails the situation. These gaffes, conjoined with not releasing more of his taxes, having swiss bank accounts and an IRA account worth $20-100 million just makes him seem pretty fake. And whether or not you like his policies, this inauthenticity is a problem and not just as concerns getting elected. If he is elected, which Mitt Romney will we get? Because either we haven't really seen enough of his true self yet or perhaps we've seen more than enough to know there's not enough 'there' there...