Well if we've found out anything this week it is that Mitt Romney is not a master diplomatist, nor is he the brightest bulb in the chandelier. Instead of mourning the four murdered American state department employees like just about everyone else, he was howling that Barak Obama was sympathizing with those who pulled the triggers and lit the fires. He pointed to a press release issued by the Cairo embassy as proof of the president's support of the angry mobs.
It turns out the press release, which was not authorized by either Obama, or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was issued before any of the violence began. In other words, it was meant to try to defuse what might become a violent situation rather than sympathize with those who had perpetrated the attacks afterwards. In fact, NBC News is reporting that the release was written and put out by a senior public affairs officer who had disobeyed orders to keep silent altogether about the odious little film clip on Youtube that started the chaos.
In the mean time Romney has failed to mention the putrid piece of film making at all, thus implying he either agrees with it, or at least thinks that racist screeds designed specifically to cause uproars like this are perfectly fine. Of course, no matter what his attitude toward "The Innocence of Muslims" is, he could feel he can't condemn it because if he does the xenophobic right wing, who actually believes that the film is accurate, will revolt. And Mitt Romney really needs for them to get off their asses and vote in November, because it certainly looks like he is losing the center.
NBC News quoted former ambassador R. Nichols Burns as saying, "I just think Governor Romney has, in a very unwise way, injected himself into a situation where he clearly doesn't have all the facts." That would be a nice way of saying Mitt doesn't know what the fuck he is talking about.
Team Romney trotted out their foreign affairs advisor, former ambassador Richard S. Williamson. He dismissed Burns' assessment because, according to Williamson, Burns began his career in the Jimmy Carter administration. Unfortunately not even Romney's people can get things straight. R. Nichols Burns began his state department career during the Ronald Reagan administration and it continued through the administrations of G.H.W Bush, Bill Clinton, and G.W. Bush.
So, are these clods just stupid, outright liars, or simply desperate? It is probably a combination of all three. The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll shows Mr. Romney trailing by five points in both Florida and Virginia and by seven in Ohio. That is not good news for the republican nominee. The Mitt has to force the issue now. The election is less than two months away. None of those leads are insurmountable, but he needs to start scoring points and win big in the debates.
Yes, it is down to the sweaty finish and Romney and his people are not making any headway despite the republican faithful's deep, almost psychotic, hatred of the current president.
The last few days have proved that Mr. Romney is not above inserting politics into a diplomatic crisis that should have bipartisan support. There is no telling what else he is capable of as the clock winds down.
Watch out for that October surprise.