Mitt Romney went to the United Kingdom as part of his world tour to prove that even though he has no real foreign policy experience he can handle the world stage. Romney than proceeded to make a complete ass of himself in front of one of America’s closest allies. The British press has been merciless about Romney’s terrible performance with headlines like, “Mitt the Twit.” It was not just that Romney insulted the nation’s readiness right before the Olympics. He also seemed to forget the name of the leader of the Labour party and talked about what was meant to be a “secret” meeting with MI-6.
While it is fun to point out how horribly Romney’s attempt to prove he can handle international diplomacy quickly backfired, these actual reports about Romney’s trip this week are unlikely to change any votes. Most voters have made up their mind, aren’t paying attention to the campaign this far out, or simply don’t care if Romney made a jackass of himself in London.
That is not to say this won’t have any impact though. While most regular people will probably forget about this, news junkies won’t, and everyone who will be covering the campaign as we get closer to the election is a news junkie. Reporters, TV new producers, pundits, bloggers, and columnists are all news junkies. They are going to remember things like this and it should subtly color how they see and cover Romney.
Romney is already perceived by the American people as being less capable of handling foreign policy than President Obama. The most recent WSJ/NBC found Obama has a 15 point advantage on that issue. After events like this, I can’t imagine that the way the media will talk about Romney on this issue in the future is going to change the American people’s assessment of his poor foreign policy skills.