the reviews are in: Romney’s “grandstanding” about Ahmadinejad ineffective, counterproductive
Context: Romney issued his typically noisy stump-speech jeremaids and scolding op-eds on the issue of Ahmadinejad’s addresses to the UN and Columbia University.
The response?—predictable. Consider
“Voters expect a certain amount of malarkey in political ads designed to press emotional hot-buttons,” begins a section of a Boston Globe editorial subtitled Romney: I run, therefore Iran
But the recent campaign ad for Mitt Romney exploiting anxieties about Iran sets a new standard for cynicism. The radio ad lauds Romney for denying a State Police escort last September for the reformist former president of Iran, Mohammad Khatami, when he visited Harvard and MIT. The reality was that Khatami was escorted everywhere by the State Department’s special security force for foreign dignitaries. Romney insulted Harvard and MIT more than Khatami when he called their invitation to him “a disgrace.” Instead of showing that Romney can be tough on terrorism, the ad suggests that Romney has little idea who Khatami is or what his role had been in Iran. Toughness may be a desirable quality in a president; indifference to the complex realities of foreign hot spots is not … more [emphases ours]
“Another Republican contender, Mitt Romney, grandstanded even more shamelessly [about Ahmadinejad’s visit and address], proclaiming that the Iranian shouldn’t have received an entry visa in the first place,” argues Jesse Walker in a reasononline article titled Who’s Afraid of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? After all the trembling, the Iranian president got a bruising instead of a boost.
If you suspected that Silver and Hunter represent just a tiny sliver of the electorate, Romney’s statement should give you pause. Romney isn’t an ordinary flesh-and-blood candidate, after all; he’s a machine calibrated to say whatever is most likely to emerge from a focus group of Republican primary voters … more [emphasis ours]
For more on the evolving Romney-rhetoric, see:
- Romney’s inflection point—the strange rhetoric of a troubled campaign
- Romney’s language of blame indicates a personality that believes itself powerless and uncared for