Monday, May 12, 2008

A spaniel attacks

One more bit of campaign dreariness: now we're forced to witness Mitt Romney, ostentatiously angling for the vice presidential nod after attracting McCain's undisguised loathing during the short nomination fight, auditioning as McCain's hatchet man on foreign policy issues. Back on March 11, he showed his jugular to McCain with this fawning comparison on Hannity & Colmes:
Listening to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama talk about experience in a national security crisis is like listening to two chihuahuas argue about which is the biggest dog. When it comes to national security, John McCain is the big dog, and they are the chihuahuas.
Yesterday, popping up on CNN to interject himself into McCain's touting of Hamas' 'endorsement' of Obama, he
sharply criticized Mr. Obama for saying that his administration would be willing to talk to Iran. Asserting that Mr. Obama, if elected, was planning to meet with the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mr. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, said on CNN that this was “one more clear example of a person that’s out of his depth when it comes to being the leader of the free world” (NYT)
This from a man who said he'd "double Guantanamo" - a statement so nonsensical as well as brutal that it disqualifies the utterer from any further consideration of his paranoid, fear-mongering posturing on the foreign policy front. And that really is the verdict of the American people.

By the time Romney suspended his campaign in the aftermath of Super Tuesday, Americans had been exposed to full-time campaigning by both men for the better part of a year. There had been 18 Democratic debates and sixteen Republican debates to that point. Romney had won approximately 4.2 million popular votes. Obama by the same point had attracted 9.9 million votes, over 7 million of them on Super Tuesday alone.

This is not to say that votes won always correspond with merit. But Romney started with every advantage - good paper credentials, respect for his governing track record and management expertise, unlimited personal resources to spend campaigning. His positions and policy proposals were so obviously manufactured, so at variance with his own past words and deeds, so incoherent, narrow and cruel that Republican voters resoundingly rejected him. So it's fair to ask: does anyone really care what Romney thinks of Obama's foreign policy bona fides?

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