Rounding Up Romney, Sesame Street And The World

The US Presidential election is almost over, in a day or two voting will be completed and the counting starts.

Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate, has received a more than fair hearing by the world’s media, but as far I can see they have avoided talking about his weirder views and what might happen under a Romney Presidency.

Mitt and Big Bird

Some have strong opinions about Romney’s proposed cuts to PBS:

“Organizers of the Million Puppet March on Capitol Hill in support of Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) television and National Public Radio (NPR) put the turnout at around 1,000 people, three days before the US presidential vote.

Characters from the children’s show “Sesame Street” — a PBS staple since the network’s founding in 1970 — figured prominently, including two Big Birds, many Kermits and Elmos, and a Miss Piggy grooving to “Dancing in the Streets.”

But the family-friendly rally on a chilly and cloudy day also attracted a frisky marionette of President Barack Obama and a blue-suited protester in a Mitt Romney mask jammed into a trash can with Big Bird on his back.

There was no shortage of sometimes witty placards, like “Keep your Mitts off Big Bird,” “puppets for peace” and, on the arm of a middle-aged gentleman with a skunk puppet, “Romney smells funny.”

The New Yorker looks at Mormonism, private equity, and the making of a candidate:

“Just about the only thing in life that Mitt Romney is obviously not very good at is the public aspect of running for office. During his four campaigns for office—U.S. senator, in 1994; governor, in 2002; President, in 2008 and 2012—he must have undergone endless hours of training and practice, but the magic just isn’t there. In June, I spent a few days on the campaign trail with him, in Wisconsin and Iowa. Romney’s trip had several purposes. A film crew was gathering footage for campaign commercials to run in the fall; Romney stopped in Janesville, Wisconsin, talking privately and doing an event with Paul Ryan, soon to be his running mate; and it was another attempt, apparently fruitless, on the part of the campaign to demonstrate the candidate’s concern with ordinary people. This segment was officially called the “Every Town Counts” tour. Romney rode around in a sleek bus painted with all-American scenes of mountains, church steeples, and ships in harbors. “

Joan Smith looks at a similar issue, men with power and keeping it to themselves:

“Now he’s been criticised by the first female head of the Home Office, the kind of person who very rarely speaks out, for excluding women from top government posts. Dame Helen Ghosh, who left her job as permanent secretary last month to run the National Trust, told students at a Cambridge college that Westminster is run by powerful networks of men which are hard for women to break into. She pointed out that there was a “magical moment” six years ago when half the heads of government departments were women, but now there are only three female permanent secretaries. “

The West-friendly Bahrain regime is locking up people, again:

“MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — A defense lawyer in Bahrain says a prominent human rights activist is in custody after defying an official ban on protest gatherings in the Gulf kingdom.

The detention of Yousef al-Muhafedha could further embolden Shiite-led demonstrators seeking a greater political voice in the Sunni-ruled nation, which is home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.”

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Mitt Romney On Twitter

Mitt Romney is being pulled apart by the British media and on Twitter under the hastag #RomneyShambles

There are far too many good contributions, but these struck me as about right:

SheSheGo ‏@SheSheGo

At this point, Mitt Romney is making George W. Bush and Sara Palin look like Rhodes Scholars. #RomneyShambles

Michael Pacholek ‏@MichaelPacholek

When Boris Johnson looks smart and sane by comparison, you know your trip to Britain is in #RomneyShambles.

Organic Democrat ‏@organicdemocrat

#RomneyShambles The sad part is that @MittRomney was up all night learning his lines for his meeting with PM.

DR ‏@pollbuster

#romneyshambles: More Romney fallout: ‘Apparently devoid of charm, warmth, humour or sincerity’ and this was one of the better reactions.”

If readers see any other good ones, please let me know.

Even the America media are getting in on the act.

Update 1: Vanity Fair covers it:

“Mitt Romney’s disaster of a European vacation continues to implode. In an Olympic ceremony in Hyde Park this afternoon, London mayor Boris Johnson mocked Romney’s earlier gaffe—Disconcerting-gate—and Romney’s dumb name. “There’s guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know if we are ready. Are we ready? Yes we are!” Did Johnson make air quotes with his hands when he said “Mitt Romney”? “

Update 2: The NY times touches on his real reason for visiting London:

“Although Mr. Romney hasn’t won over the British Prime Minister or the British Olympic Committee, at least some Londoners seem to have embraced the Republican candidate. The Telegraph reported yesterday that executives at Barclay’s—the bank that paid a huge fine over the Libor scandal–have donated $1 million to Mr. Romney. (All American citizens?) The Guardian said there is a fundraiser for him tonight in Mayfair for between $50,000 and $75,000 a ticket.

Update 3: Time haven’t missed out either.

TPM points to the real issue, money:

“With his London visit mired in controversy, Mitt Romney is also facing criticism for taking money from individuals implicated in an ongoing banking scandal.
Barclays executives have donated over $1 million to Romney’s campaign, according to the Guardian, and many are expected to be in attendance at Thursday’s fundraiser, raising eyebrows on both sides of the pond.”

Update 4: It’s on the BBC too.

Update 5: With the Huff Post picking it up I can’t wait for the YouTube spoofs to appear.

Politicus USA hasn’t missed out the comparison, Romney in Shambles as Britain Proclaims Him Worse than Sarah Palin.

Update 6: Romney and vanity go together rather well, as the Salt Lake City Olympics commemorative badges (pins for American readers) demonstrates.

Update 7: Over at the Atlantic, The Best of #romneyshambles.

Update 8: Romney gaffes in full.

The WSJ’s Romney’s Not-So-Secret Meeting With MI6.

No gold medal for Mitt Romney from British press.

From 2007, Mitt Romney: I won’t let US go the way of UK.

Mitt Romney’s Olympics blunder stuns No 10 and hands gift to Obama.

Laurie Penny, The Indy And Racism.

Posting this before I forget.

Laurie Penny reported from the AIPAC conference for the Independent.

A relatively easy job, not terribly controversial, AIPAC is one of the many political lobbies in America, which has hundreds, if not thousands of major lobbies.

The article in itself is not terribly enlightening, but the comments box oozing with racism towards Jews and offensive remarks is.

Years ago we would have been astonished to find a continuation of the 1930s racism.

Still, a sneering at Jews, peppered with repellent comments, is commonplace within the online vehicles of the British quality press.

You would be hard put not to find such wretched racism on a daily basis in this media.

Some of it is stark, others sly and full of innuendo, still more approximates to a genteel form of anti-Jewish racism, yet what is surprising, is that you won’t find the British quality press reporting on it.

No story there. Lest way not for the British intelligentsia.

As radical as Laurie Penny is, I doubt she will cover it either.