[Okay I know Republicans are not much given to introspection but you should at least consider for a moment what the rest of the world thinks. This from the British press...]
[I don't know that calling Britain "a second-rate, semi-degenerate nation" (just because they didn't want their Olympic games trashed) a wining election year strategy...]
But this is not just personal. Romney stumbled in London because he has little apparent interest in the world beyond America's shores. This week he gave his first major foreign policy speech in nine months. Unlike both Obama and John McCain in 2008, his campaign has no senior foreign policy staffer. He had a spokesman on international affairs who left after just two weeks, reportedly because he was not allowed to talk to the media. When Romney has offered a view, it has been either confused, undiplomatic or both. Witness his branding of Russia – whose co-operation the US needs – as the US's "No 1 geopolitical foe".
In this, Romney is fully in step with the party he now leads. For today's Republican party is characterised by a kind of bellicose ignorance towards the rest of the world, contemptuous of Obama's attempts to show respect to foreigners, crudely aggressive towards those deemed the US's enemies, uninterested in its friends. Take the response of Romney's allies to the London debacle, his surrogates professing that "we're not worried about overseas headlines", while one media cheerleader dismissed Cameron as "limp-wristed" and Britain as "a second-rate, semi-degenerate nation".
This, remember, is the party that slammed John Kerry for the crime of speaking French. Its antics, like those of the man it has chosen for the presidency, would be funny were the Republican party not aspiring to hold an office that is still mighty and, for the rest of the world, deadly serious.