I've been more than a little amused at the media coverage of Mitt Romney's overseas exploits recently. Everything from the hollow harangues over the Mittster's so-called Olympic gaffe, to his politically incorrect Israeli/Palestinian positioning, to the outcry over Mrs. Romney's participation in Equestrian elitism.
Ironically, the trip reveals far more about a leftist media's desperation to find anything Romney to hate than it does about the Presidential hopeful's agility on the world stage. So let's put Romney's performance in some rational perspective.
The Great British Gaffe: This is perhaps the most ado about nothing we've seen since the broo-ha-ha over Ann Romney's $900 blouse. Although it can fairly be said that the former Olympic Executive said a little too much, you'd think, based on the liberal media coverage, that Romney had personally hand-slapped the Queen and started a second revolution!
The reality: In an interview with ABC News, Mitt echoed security concerns that were being noised abroad in the British press that very day. He also questioned Britain's unity over the games--an open question in the media as well! His fault, ironically, is that he answered the question candidly rather than blowing diplomatic smoke up the collective posterior of the body politic. Something we say we want in our politicians. Even liberal British-American entertainment Apprentice, Piers Morgan defended Mitt's comments in a rare moment of fair-minded punditry.
But the real story here is in the press' underwhelming over-reaction. The sniping from the far left British press in a classic case of "we can say it, but you can't," was then amplified a thousand times by the lefty loud-mouths in the American media who are all too happy to pile on. Make no mistake about it: ideology is the issue in this shameless display, not Romney's diplomatic acumen. I give Romney a C+ on his Olympic diplomacy--he could have been more generous, though his candor is refreshing--but, honestly, who besides the convicted anti-Romneys really cares? The press, on the other hand, gets yet another F.
The Israeli/Palestinian Conflict: Once again, the weaselly whiners from the American left find offense in Romney's unabashed solidarity with the Israeli state when they prefer pandering to Palestinian terrorists. In a context of Barack Obama's on-again, off-again Israel "policy" Romney's forthright support of our first, best, Middle Eastern ally must be comforting to her politicians as well as her people; a sentiment reflected in Prime Minister Netanyahu's all-but-endorsement of the candidate. The Palestinians may be a little P.O.'d in wake of Obama's apology tours, but this was a solid home-run for Romney and will undoubtedly strengthen his support at home and abroad.
Remember, the same political pundits that are castigating Romney for his "politically incorrect" observations about Palestine, were equally outraged at Reagan's "Evil Empire" comments, were hysterical when he refused to compromise with Gorby over the issue of missile defense, and were apoplectic at the Gipper's call to "tear down this wall!" Romney's diplomacy may not yet be Reaganesque, as may be expected from, primarily, a private sector businessman, and he would benefit from the addition of a quorum of foreign policy experts among his chief advisers, but it's already a helluva lot more coherent than Obama's. And the clarity of policy that is likely to emerge in a Romney administration will undoubtedly more resemble Reagan's and offer a breath of fresh air to US allies around the globe.
Props from Poland: Even the liberal media has had a hard time denigrating Mitt's triumphant visit to Poland and the enthusiastic endorsement he received from the internationally popular liberty and labor champion and former head of the Polish state, Lech Walesa. Romney was warmly received by the Polish people as he promised strengthened ties with the American ally under a Romney Presidency and a restored focus on limited government and economic freedom in the post-communist state.
In short, with the possible exception of the Olympic "gaffe," (a matter so trivial as to be laughable) Romney demonstrated deft statesmanship, a command of the issues, and a commitment to America's traditional and proven allies, the like of which they have not seen in 43 months of Obama dis-plomacy. For a little more substantive analysis, I recommend Charles Krauthammer's syndicated column on the subject.