Will Durst: A staggeringly stumbling trip

Aug 8, 2012

Will Durst here, wishing Mitt Romney the heartiest of welcomes home. He's got to be more relieved than a Midwestern corn farmer in the middle of a thunderstorm to be back on American soil. The GOP nominee embarked on a goodwill trip designed to raise his foreign policy bonafides, but the six-day charm offensive proved to be a bit light on the charm and rather heavy on the offensive. 

On the first stop in Great Britain, he managed to pretty much insult the whole country. Romney told interviewers he thought security problems surrounding the Olympics were a bit disconcerting… and all hell broke loose. It was exactly what the papers over there were saying, but they didn't want to hear it from an outsider. Prime Minister David Cameron responded that, "London was a busy, world-class city, not in the middle of nowhere," which some took as a snub to Romney, who famously ran the 2002 Winter Olympics. But, as we all know, Salt Lake City isn't in the middle of nowhere, it's in Utah. 

The gaff train moved on to the Middle East, where Mr. Romney said Israel's financial acumen and culture gave it a major advantage over Palestine. Which sort of ticked off the Palestinians, not to mention a couple of Israelis who thought he called them thrifty. 

As the trip ended in Poland, everyone held their breath. But, the only thing that happened there was an aid that told a reporter to stop peppering the candidate with questions, because they were at a holy site for Poles. And to emphasize the sanctity of the joint, he told the reporter to kiss his butt. Only he didn't say "butt", he said the word that rhymes with "class." Which is, obviously, "bereft." 

Britain, Israel, and Poland. Not what you would call the 'group of death.' I imagine the degree of difficulty, in diplomatic terms, rates about a -2. But, at least he stuck his dismount. 

The opinions of Will Durst do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Crosscurrents or KALW.