Mitt Romney returns to the U.S. after a hugely successful trip to Israel and a warm welcome in Poland from Lech Walesa. Romney’s comments in England –never very well understood by the U.S. but the occasion of a mauling by the British press– are turning out to be prophetic with regards to a variety of Olympic glitches, but Romney would still rather not have said them. He would, however, gladly repeat the Israel and Poland parts of his trip exactly as they rolled out. I played Romney’s speech in Israel in its entirety on yesterday’s show, and the live audience I was before as well as callers and emailers were unanimous and enthusiastic in their praise. Romney hit a home run in Jerusalem, and key supporters of Israel watching in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and other swing states know that.
Romney’s trip, then, was a big success. Not perfect, but a big success. Even the London comments turned into an opportunity to show the “press on” virtue that Dororthy Rabinowitz notes in her Wall Street Journal column this morning
. Stuff happens in campaigns and as president. The good ones have to press on, unflustered. Romney did.
Even if the miscue on the Olympics was one-third as bad as the hysterical Robert Gibbs made it out to be –so glad Gibbs is back, and hoping he’s on television a lot in the next 100 days as, next to the president and the vice-president talking, Gibbs’ the best weapon the GOP has– still the triumph in Israel and the very good reception in Poland would be the stuff of great political theater, and more so as it came in the dead of summer when keeping any eyes on the candidate is a difficult challenge, especially with the Games underway.
So why are so many Beltway sharpies sold on the idea that Romney was hurt by the trip? Even reporters I enjoy having on the show often, like the WaPo’s Chris Cillizza, have fallen for the Team Obama spin
, and fallen hard. It is as though they don’t understand the Jewish vote or the Catholic vote or how little British press fury matters in the U.S. Can they really not know what the speech in Jerusalem meant or how the anger of a second tier Palestinian official is a plus to Romney, not a negative?
The answer in some cases is pure Obama boosterism, and we are used to this. Powerline’s John Hinderaker notes just how adversarial a lot of the MSM is regarding Romney, but that is only part of the explanation
The other part is simply that the Manhattan-Beltway media elite don’t get out much –they really don’t have a clue how political events are unfolding, and, talking only to each other, they aren’t going to find out very soon.
Many of us saw the Ted Cruz train coming last year, but none I am aware of inside the MSM. Many of us instantly knew the president’s “You didn’t build that” was a sound byte that ate the president’s summer. And no one had to tell folks outside of the Beltway bubble that the attack by the presidents’ pals on Chick-fil-A was a disaster for the left, the president and Democrats generally.
Press reaction to Romney’s trip will make a great study in the years ahead on just how clueless and inept political reporters have become as a result on their dependency on each other and cable commentary to shape their world view. They don’t talk to voters and they don’t live among voters. Thus they invent stories that didn’t happen and wouldn’t matter if they did–a failed trip– even as they miss major events –Romney’s speech in Israel– or major trends –the backlash against the enforcers threatening Chick-fil-A.
Want to know the real significance of Romney’s trip? Read Bret Stephens’ take in the Wall Street Journal.
(Stephens will be a guest on today’s show.) Stephens and the Journal
generally have not been fans of Romney, but they are beginning to see in his disciplined campaign and in his methodical unrolling of themes and positions the marks of a successful candidate and, perhaps, of a successful president.
By contrast, most of the MSM is deeply, indeed laughably invested in President Obama, having bought heavily on the Obama IPO in 2008. Like Facebook investors desperate for the bleeding to stop but unwilling to sell and cut their losses, the MSMers grab every bit of “news” they can find to pump up their own hopes for November and, in their delirium about their own influence, to try and prop up Obama or knock down Romney. They are embarrassing themselves, and they will end up like CNN as a result –discredited and without an audience. Truth be told, most of them are unaware of just how silly they look and sound, and never more so than with their trip commentary.
Meanwhile Romney, like Cruz, keeps moving forward towards his goal of winning and leading the country. The trip to the UK, Israel and Poland advanced that goal, and all the King’s horses and all his media men can’t put this presidency back together again.