The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

14 August
Comments Off on Hey, Mitt..Those London Olympics….Got Something Else To Say?

Hey, Mitt..Those London Olympics….Got Something Else To Say?

Confession time….I was a cynic and doomster about the London 2012 Olympics. In 2005 I was hoping Paris would get the time bomb and we could avoid all the expense and inconvenience. It seemed a classic piece of Blairite New Labour grandstanding, as empty and vapid and meaningless as the Millennium Dome.

In the weeks beforehand my pessimism meter dial hit the red zone as transport unions blackmailed extra bonuses, private security companies failed to deliver and predictions of traffic chaos and empty seats filled the pages of the Daily Mail eager, as always, to always play Cassandra.

Then it all changed. An brilliantly orchestrated opening ceremony that captured the essence of our quirky, eccentric, self deprecating British spirit segued us into a fortnight of sporting drama. No transportation problems, no security breakdowns, no violence, just day after day of pure unadulterated enjoyment.

We were on holiday in Italy for most of the time so just got to see bits and pieces of the action from screens in the restaurants and bars surrounded by Italians and Germans. Imagine how good it felt to gloat (inwardly, of course) as our sportsmen and sportswomen piled on the gold medals….

And, after that magnificent Olympic cauldron was finally extinguished and the Mayor of Rio took hold of the Olympic flag I suddenly remembered……..Mitt Romney and his cheerleaders at the US conservative blog Hot Air. Even with the rest of the world praising London 2012 resident blogger Allahpundit was sustaining his glass half empty schtick, pursing his lips and flaring his nostrils at the closing ceremony…..

Sorry, Allah (as I commented at his post), I think the rest of the world will pay more attention to the response of the Aussies whose 2000 Sydney Olympics have, up till now, been regarded universally as the benchmark of success. Down under they rate the 2012 Games as even better than Sydney and, coming from Oz, that is praise indeed.

As for the closing ceremony it is always more of a party atmosphere and the audience and the athletes in London obviously enjoyed it. In lengthy celebration there will always be low spots and Russell Brand fits that bill admirably. The rest of it, however, was great fun.

But then Hot Air has systematically waxed eeyore over the London Games. That might be because of an inbuilt tendency to regard anything outside the USA as weird/outlandish but it is more likely to be due to the fact that Atlanta 1996 was not one of the best summer Olympics or that Salt Lake 2002 winter Olympics had to be rescued from a bribery and corruption scandal.

As for Mitt, is he man enough to eat his own words and offer his congratulations to Lord Coe, the man who organised the best ever summer Olympics, and to the British people who embraced the Games with a fervour unmatched in modern times?

Just askin’ as our American friends might say…..

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26 July
Comments Off on Mitt Headroom Badmouths London Olympics Before Visiting London To Build Bridges….

Mitt Headroom Badmouths London Olympics Before Visiting London To Build Bridges….

My Tea Party friends in the US have never held Mitt Romney in high regard. Until the autumn of last year (coincidentally when the Republican presidential primary campaign began) his public rhetoric against the Obama administration was strangely muted and he has always retained an aloof distance from the tea party.

His ascension to the probable GOP nomination was strangely lacking in public warmth from ordinary voting Republicans. But it was certainly well organised with legions of surrogates doing their very best to undermine potential rivals even before the 2008 presidential election was over.

Romney didn’t win the campaign with love, but he did win it with money – and the support of a seedy coalition of GOP “consultants/strategists” , RNC hacks and those Washington/New York “conservative” media pundits apprehensive of the tea party and the new media which was beginning to break the old news monopoly.

But when I heard that Romney was coming to Britain ready to build bridges I thought maybe the guy had a bit of steel in his backbone

Members of the former Massachusetts governor’s foreign policy advisory team claimed that as president, he would reverse Mr Obama’s priority of repairing strained overseas relationships while not spending so much time maintaining traditional alliances such as Britain and Israel. …….
……..The two advisers said Mr Romney would seek to reinstate the Churchill bust displayed in the Oval Office by George W. Bush but returned to British diplomats by Mr Obama when he took office in 2009. One said Mr Romney viewed the move as “symbolically important” while the other said it was “just for starters”, adding: “He is naturally more Atlanticist”.

Then I read this

But he told US television there were “disconcerting” signs about Britain’s readiness. “It’s hard to know just how well it will turn out,” he said. “There are a few things that were disconcerting: the stories about the private security firm not having enough people, supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials, that obviously is not something which is encouraging.”
Nonetheless, Mr Romney questioned the enthusiasm of the British public. “Do they come together and celebrate the Olympic moment?” he asked. “That’s something which we only find out once the Games actually begin.”

For crying out loud – if that’s his way of building a bridge I think I would rather deal with some fruitloop from Iran….at least you know the guy is a viper right from the start.

If he knew us better he would realise that it is in our very nature to moan and complain until the event actually starts. We did that with the royal wedding and the diamond jubilee. Indeed a lot of us were never that enamoured of hosting the Olympics anyway. But now the thing has arrived our enthusiasm has already started to show….witness the crowds in every village and town to greet the Olympic torch. Why didn’t Romney’s crew do some research on that?

…and maybe Romney (as well as Allahpundit at Hot Air) forgot about the 1996 Atlanta Olympics

If International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Juan Antonio Samaranch’s address to the closing ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games is remembered at all, it is for his unwillingness to bestow Atlanta’s Games with the honor of “the greatest in Olympic history” – that coveted rhetorical flourish lauding the host city’s organizing efforts. Unbridled commercialism, poor and unreliable public transportation, a deadly terrorist attack on Centennial Olympic Park: such significant failures shaped Samaranch’s verdict that these Olympic Games were “most exceptional,” but not “the greatest.”

Romney’s gaffe about the London Olympics, bad mouthing them even before they start is in itself of little consequence in the great scheme of things. But it does tell us something about the man…. say what you like about Sarah Palin she knows the difference between being forthright and showing good manners. Maybe Mitt Romney is really Edison Carter….

Max Headroom was shown to have been created from the memories of Edison Carter. The character’s name came from the last thing Carter saw during a vehicular accident that put him into a coma: A bar with a sign warning of low clearance, marked “MAX. HEADROOM: 2.3 M”.

Mitt Headroom, anyone?

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