It seems like the Republican Party’s Presidential Wannabe’s believe that they have to earn some Foreign Affairs credentials. And where else but London would an American go? In reality, however, these are probably more of a “Take your Wife abroad” excursions, before the full impact of actually running for President sets in. And if you are a sitting Governor, you can have your State’s Taxpayers pay for it, since you can write it off as a “Trade Mission”. (Wink, wink!)
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt (Willard, actually) Romney started it off, when he was the GOP Nominee to unseat incumbent President Barack Obama. When he visited the 2012 Summer Olympics, he was granted a visit with Prime Minister David Cameron. Prior to arriving at #10 Downing Street, however, he had told the media that he found the Games’ security “disconcerting”.
The London tabloids dubbed him “Mitt the Snit” for his security comment. And Mr. Cameron, in turn, rebuked Romney by saying: “We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere”. Cameron’s response referred to Romney’s acting as CEO for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, for the Winter Games in 2002. So, perhaps trash talk wasn’t invented in America.
So far in this cycle, almost two years before either the 2016 Primary or the Presidential Elections start, it seems that each of the Republican prospects–long shots, so far–also want to visit #10, and apparently Mr. Cameron has given them their wish, at least so far. I trust that the Prime Minister realizes that, if there is anywhere near the eight candidates that vied for the GOP Nomination in 2012, he will still need plenty more tea and scones between now and 2016
Right out of the chute, the first three visitors have been right down there with Mitt Romney. First, it was Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, who informed the American media that London had “No-Go” Zones, inhabited by Muslims, where Police dare not enter. Who else but FOX “News” would broadcast such nonsense? Also, keep in mind that Jindal, although born in America, is of Indian descent. But, do give him credit for dubbing the Republicans as “The Stupid Party”. At his next stop in Paris, his No-Go comment didn’t go over well at all. In fact, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is suing FOX “News” for reporting Jindal’s No-Go comments, especially in the wake of the recent horrible Charlie Hebdo attacks. Good for her! Good for France!
Next up was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Christie has been deep into playing “doctor”, due to his comments that seemed to assert that vaccinations for Measles should be left up to the “judgement” of the Parents. Remember that this is the same Governor Christie who quarantined Nurse Kaci Hickox upon her return in fighting the Ebola Virus in Guinea, West Africa. Now, he never visited her, and she never had any symptoms of the virus. As usual the London tabloids had a field day with the “Gov”, who cancelled three press conferences in one day. Perhaps the most apropos sign that he walked past was outside London’s historic Globe Theatre, which said something to the effect of: “At least Shakespeare didn’t have the Measles!” However, he was thought to have had other maladies.
And then came Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s visit to London; however, the Prime Minister didn’t have to admonish him for any gaffes which might have offended all of Britain. Governor Walker told a BBC interviewer, however, that he would “punt” regarding whether he believes in Evolution. In Western Europe, the belief in Evolution is virtually universal–especially in the home of Charles Darwin. But, Evangelical Christians in the U.S. play a prominent role in the Republican Party; so, Presidential hopefuls especially do not want to offend the non-believers regarding from whence we came.
The whole “Visit London” thing is merely a charade. Most of these characters spent all of three days in LondonTown. Of all places, the British, along with Canadians, Aussies and Kiwis, are perhaps most like us–sharing a common legal and philosophical heritage, and only separated by a common language…and perhaps a little water (except for Canada). The question that I keep asking myself is: a little hospitality is quite nice; but, doesn’t Prime Minister Cameron have more important things to do, rather than baby-sit a few vacationing Yanks? Also what relevance does the Olympic Games and the Globe Theatre have with garnering any knowledge of the Foreign Affairs Landscape?
NOTE: Rupert Murdoch’s FOX “News” was also reportedly the only media outlet in the U.S. that broadcast the full 22 minute ISIS-produced video, showing the despicable execution of Jordanian pilot First Lieutenant Moaz al-Kasasbeh. Nuff said!