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July 26, 2012

The Picture of Romney in London? Ouch.

Romney Blair London

I know plenty of people are going to say that comfort comes with time and that smoothness isn’t necessarily a job requirement. That said though, Romney’s not going anywhere if the public doesn’t feel comfortable with him, isn’t able to relate to him, and he can’t relate effectively to the public or his peers. And that’s just in the U.S.

How bad a day was it in London? After starting off the trip with his advisor implying racist connections with the UK because we are all white, he revealed that the head of MI6 secretly briefed him on Syria. That was especially disastrous having made such an issue about Obama leaking security information. He said in an interview with NBC that London didn’t appear prepared for the Olympics. What we see in these photos are the reactions of people to the large and varied feet that Mr. Romney stuck in his mouth, making him totally radioactive by the time he got to 10 Downing and David Cameron’s office. (And it didn’t stop there. After meeting Cameron, he forgot the name of the opposition leader during a photo op.  Then he upset everyone in Parliament. Then Boris Johnson mocked him for dissing London’s readiness at a rally with 60K people in attendance. Really, it’s not easy to offend a whole nation, but Romney seemed to manage it. And that was before the media unearthed dismissive quotes about the UK in Romney’s books.)

Romney Cameron chairs hands

Look at Cameron’s body language.

Romney Osborne 2

Clock’s ticking. Just cross your hands.

Romney outside 10 Downing long

What Romney needed to do today was show up in London and demonstrate that he has basic political instincts, good human relations and diplomatic skills, and he didn’t show it. Instead, what he demonstrated — and what the optics reflect — likely the product of his intemperate nature, is his inability to relate to people and set them at ease.

Even if an aide goes off the reservation and a situation starts on the wrong foot, an effective politician knows how to fake it. That’s just Politics 101. Romney’s been a politician long enough to know how to pull that off and he didn’t today. The net of that is, in the one extended episode in the campaign where Romney, in a foreign affairs audition, had the test of relating to the allies and international leaders, he failed.

Of course, it’s my edit. But the preponderance of today’s images are highly awkward, some almost painful. And, if you look closely, I don’t think that difficulty was lost on the man.

Romney Close up 10 Downing

(Revised 7:15 am for context)

(photo 1 & 2: Charles Dharapak/AP caption 1: Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney meets with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in London, Thursday, July 26, 3 & 4: Jason Reed/Reuters caption 3: U.S. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney meets with British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne at 11 Downing Street in London, July 26, 2012. photo 5: Oli Scarff/Getty Images caption: Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for the USA presidential election, leaves 10 Downing Street after meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron on July 26, 2012 in London, England. Mr Romney is meeting various leaders, past and present, on his visit to the UK, including Tony Blair, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg.)

  • bks3bks



  • Cactus

    Pathetic, embarrassing, uncomfortable.  This perfectly coiffed man in immaculate $1000 suit uniform with large flag pin, can occasionally move his arms.  I’d love to have thought bubbles for these:
    Blair:  This guy’s worse than Bush, but at least he sits still.
    Romney:  I notice they put all the dogs out of sight
    Romney:  You know when I brought the Olympics to America, we got a lot of money from the government to build roads and stuff.
    Cameron:  What is this guy talking about?  When can I check my watch…..
    Cameron:  This is just great – who suggested this setup?  What the hell is he looking at”
    Romney:  This is going very well.  I wonder why that guy is making all the hand motions.
    Romney:  This is me in front of Number 10 Downing Street.  Winston Churchill used to live here.
    Romney:  This went so well, I just wish I could smile.

  • Enoch Root

    The Brits know the Peter Principle when they see it. Some mid-level nobody with enough money to buy the election.

    However, the right in America is inoculated to criticism of this kind of thing. As with the NAACP appearance, it’s clearly the liberal media’s fault for just being critical and not recognizing that he’s trying really hard. Bad ol’ liberal media!

    I almost begin to feel sorry for the almost-crying Romney in that last photo. Kind of an, “Aww, did Richy Rich come in contact with the harsh reality of British politics? Let’s get back on the plane and go back to America where people treat you nicer for some reason. OK? OK.”

  • LanceThruster

    You give Hollywood any bumpkin from the ‘burbs, and with stylists and wardrobe artists, they can have the person look like a James Bond action hero without much trouble. Even with all Mitt’s dough, he still looks like someone at a wedding who, while presentable, may have as well just bought his outfit off the rack from the local department store.

  • JimmyJazz1968

    The #Romneyshambles Twitter hashtag and the photos above are all that needs to be said.

  • molly

    Does the man have lips? I never see his lips; they are always pursed up like he’s trying not to scream or puke. 

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