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July 27, 2012

Piers Morgan has Mitt Romney's back . . . [Guest Blogger]

. . . in the absurd uproar over his comments regarding London's handling of the Olympics, and as much as I hate giving the man credit and lauding his wisdom in the precious space I've been allotted here at the HQ, there's hardly anyone else around to give it to. Romney's allies on the right have, for the most part, been standing aside with crossed arms and furrowed brow -- tut-tutting the political implications of Mitt's moment of candor.

But not Piers Morgan. Piers studied the situation from a distance, compared what he heard yesterday to everything he'd heard from his fellow countrymen up 'til now, and declared that everyone on the planet, except for himself and Mitt Romney, is full of crap. And that includes me, since I was pretty much thinking the same variation on "Oh my God, he's on bath salts!" that everyone else was thinking.

But, after seeing what Morgan had to say, it occurred to me that Mitt could have turned to his advantage, or at least largely mitigated, if his advisers hadn't panicked and forced him to don the sack cloth and ash.

“I read the same reports I think a lot of people did about all the challenges being faced by the organizing committee,” Romney told NBC, “but after being here a couple of days, it looks like London is ready.”

“I’m absolutely convinced the people here are ready for the Games,” he added.

Granted, it's hard to blame them given the heat they were taking from their own side over this stupid little controversy. But that's exactly what it is -- just a stupid, temporary distraction that would have otherwise faded into the din of coverage of the Olympics themselves in a day or two. So why not just wait it out?

Hindsight being what it is and all, I can't help thinking missed an opportunity to demonstrate qualities that voters are going to be looking for come November -- especially the independent-types who are ultimately going to make the call: candor and competence. Had Mitt stuck to his guns and refused to walk back his relatively innocuous comments, he'd have had to endure a few days more of hostility from the international press along with that of our own. Of course, that hostility is pretty much stipulated anyway, but it would have been turned up to eleven until the next shiny object caught their attention.

Mitt's going to need to draw stark contrasts between himself and SCOAMF from here on out and take every opportunity he can get. Once the initial vituperation over his comments finally gave way to the event itself, Mitt could have simply pointed to the screw-ups that are going to inevitably happen and said something like:

"Look, I was just going by what I heard from the people of London, and as it happens, they were right. They screwed up this, they screwed up that, and they screwed up that. Having actually brought a similar event back from the brink of catastrophe, I saw a lot of the same mistakes being made that I encountered when I took over the Winter Games in Utah, and I said as much. Yes, there may have been some hard truths in what I said, but responsible executives confront hard truths; they don't gloss over them. As the President of the United States, I'm going to confront many truths that are vastly harder than those faced by the folks running the Olympics. And the American people deserve a leader who won't gloss over them for the sake of temporary political expediency."

Unfortunately, too many on the right -- myself included -- got their dresses up over their heads over this minor little blip, and the Romney organization listened to them instead of figuring out a way to turn it to their advantage. It's not just Team Romney's fault; it's the fault of so many conservatives like me who can't wait to break out the #facepalm hashtag whenever the opportunity presents itself.

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posted by Damn Dirty RINO at 12:56 PM

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