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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Romney's trip abroad a success, despite media obfuscation

Let's discuss for a moment what the mainstream media have labeled Romney's "string of gaffes" abroad which were, as a statement of fact, nothing of the sort. 

The "disconcerting" statement in London was an honest assessment (reinforced by prior media reports) from a man who, himself, had previously run the Olympics. Obviously, it wasn't what the Brits wanted to hear, but it doesn't make his comment invalid, or mean that his sharing the insight translates into poor diplomatic prowess. 

If he'd wanted to appease, he could have avoided voicing his concern, yes, but what if something terrible had happened and he had, instead, said everything looked perfect? He'd have looked clueless. Better to be honest. The "controversy" was definitely "a bit of a fuss about nothing." What's more, Obama's done far worse, far more often. 

That an American Republican speaking in Israel said something that upset the Palestinians is neither shocking nor news. To attempt to connect his statements about culture - statements he made in his book, has regularly made in stump speeches, and which were tied to objectively true figures comparing the two cultures' avg. individual salaries - to any sort of "racism" wreaks of desperation. Never mind the fact that he was right, culture does matter.

His moment at the wailing wall - and that he chose to go to Israel at all when our own President hasn't visited - were truly striking contrasts to the current administration.

His time in Poland was a humerun. While Mitt was being endorsed by reknowned anti-communist, Lech Walesa, Obama was getting the nod from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Again, stark contrasts.

And what's more, the media's massive overreach on this, to pretend like these non-controversies were "gaffes," to choose and crop imagery so as to make it seem like support was lacking for Romney when it wasn't, only serves to hurt their credibility. Honestly, if they were looking to undercut Mitt here, all they had to do was roll the video of Obama's visit four years ago and the massive European crowds that followed... or just not cover Mitt's trip at all. But to make up fake controversies only serves to further discredit American news media.

And to sink even lower, these same media sought to "create a moment" at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with shrill attempts to get a rise from Romney. Sure, an aide responded in kind. As I might have were I in his position --- they were way out of line, and being wholly disrespectful of the Polish people and their sacred site. I can't help but think that if they had treated Obama the same way, critics would call it raaaaaaaaaaaaacism (like they did when he was questioned in the Rose Garden, or when pressed by Fox commentators in the rare interviews they've been allotted).

Finally, the entire point of Mitt's trip abroad was never to attract droves of adoring fans but rather to draw stark contrasts between his foreign policy and Barack Obama's. As he outlined in his book, he wants America to draw closer to the very allies he just visited. His trip wasn't the "me fest" Obama's was - it was about showing what type of president he would be. And in that respect, the trip was an absolute success.
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