Mitt Romney is in Israel, and I frankly just don’t really get the point of his whole trip abroad. However, it does provide a bit of an amusing media spectacle. While I don’t think they will actually damage him substantively in the upcoming election, I find Mr. Romney’s* general lack of tact to be perennially amusing. I found the following items of note:
· Mr. Romney insulting his British hosts. Come on, bro.
· Mr. Romney denying he would watch his wife’s dressage horse, Rafalca, compete in the Olympics. Yes, it is ridiculous that his wife’s dressage horse is competing in the Olympics. But is he seriously so craven about his enormous fortune he will throw his wife’s passion under the bus?
· Mr. Romney holding fundraisers with the mega-rich abroad, in London and Jerusalem. I don’t know if Obama did or does the same, but there’s something about it I find vaguely disquieting. I sincerely hope Obama will not do the same – it just smacks of the Second Estate deciding how we shall be ruled.
· Mr. Romney issuing threats of war with Iran from the Western Wall on Tisha B’Av. As a Jew: ugh.
· Mr. Romney’s inability to name a real problem with President Obama’s Israel policy.
· Prime Minister Netanyahu coming awfully close to actively campaigning for a candidate in an American election. I wonder if he knows that Mr. Romney is not the favorite to win, and if so I am curious about what his game is. Bibi doesn’t do anything without a reason, and presumably hopes to derive material advantage from his pro-Romney stance. What is it?
· Mr. Romney’s arguably racist comment that Israel is massively richer than the West Bank because of “culture”. He didn’t have to say that, and he knew what he was saying. It was just a gratuitous more-right-wing-than-you line that serves no purpose other than provocation. This habit of his, when combined with the rigorous avoidance of any actual opinion that might provoke, is kind of disgusting.
All in all, I believe exactly zero votes will be moved by this trip. But I still found it interesting. I wonder if next he will pledge to defend Poland from the Soviets?
*: The way that politicians hang on to their old titles forever bugs me. Presidents, fine. But Mr. Romney is very clearly a private citizen – if I were him, I’d preferto go by Mr. Romney to soften the image a little bit.