That thousand-mile stare of the GOP candidate is coming into focus. As he lifts his eyes from the economy to the Middle East, Mitt Romney’s vacuity is dismaying Americans across party lines.
No surprise that Gail Collins advises, “Feel free to worry about anything. That he’d declare war on Malta. Lock himself in a nuclear missile silo and refuse to come out until there’s a tax cut.”
It’s something else when Peggy Noonan, who put Clint Eastwood’s “Read my lips” into Bush I’s mouth, tells Fox News Romney has not “been doing himself any favors” since the crisis in Libya and Egypt started: “Sometimes when really bad things happen, when hot things happen, cool words or no words is the way to go.”
Add an AP headline “Romney Misstates Facts on Attacks” and a Times editorial observing that he “showed an extraordinary lack of presidential character by using the murders of the Americans in Libya as an excuse not just to attack Mr. Obama, but to do so in a way that suggested either a dangerous ignorance of the facts or an equally dangerous willingness to twist them to his narrow partisan aims.”
For more than a year, the Obama campaign has been looking for ways to picture Romney as “weird,” and now he hands them ammunition to make John McCain’s reputation for shooting from the hip look like a model of sobriety.
But all is not lost for the GOP. To offset Romney doubters, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh are still on board.
The Game Changer hot flashes her Facebook fans, “We already know that President Obama likes to ‘speak softly’ to our enemies. If he doesn’t have a ‘big stick’ to carry, maybe it’s time for him to grow one.”
On cue, enter Limbaugh:
“We're in the middle of an absolute disaster, a foreign policy disaster. And there's a coordinated effort to make it about Romney and whether or not he should speak; whether he should say anything about it; whether or not it's presidential for Romney. We're only supposed to have one president at times like this. Well, we don't have one, unless Romney speaks up, and that's the sad reality.”
One president without testosterone or another with hoof-in-mouth disease doesn’t sound like much of a choice.