November 8, 2012 by Nash Riggins
As Americans stared into the face of a frail economy and an utterly stagnant rate of unemployment, the US Presidential Election should have been Mitt Romney’s to lose – and it just so happens that he did. Now, right-wing America will be forced to pick up the pieces and begin preparing for the long road to 2016. As they do so, Republicans should duly take into account the valuable knowledge with which Governor Mitt Romney was able to bestow upon the world:
1. Make allies abroad
Mitt Romney began his first international tour as a Presidential-hopeful by touching down in London on the eve of the 2012 Olympic Games – and it only took him a matter of hours to produce high levels of cynicism throughout the country.
The journey immediately started off on the wrong foot after an unnamed campaign adviser asserted to the press that Mr Romney boasts a much better understanding of America’s ‘special relationship’ with the UK than does President Barack Obama, as the African-American incumbent does not claim an “Anglo-Saxon heritage.” Apparently Romney’s team was unaware that London itself is home to over 2.3 million ethnic minorities; however, the Presidential candidate’s damage-control room had bigger fish to fry.
Although Mr Romney was denied a photo-op with Prime Minister David Cameron, the Republican was able to gain the pleasure of meeting with opposition leader Ed Miliband; however, a cruel twist of fate ensured that Romney failed to remember Miliband’s name, instead referring to him as “mister leader.” Mr Miliband was not impressed.
Throughout the week, Romney then proceeded to question London’s ability to host the Games, prompted tabloids nationwide to coin the nickname “Mitt the Twit” and was publicly mocked by David Cameron. Days later in Jerusalem, he managed a xenophobic rant as to why Palestinians are poor, and weeks later he began campaigning on the basis that Russia is “America’s number one geo-political foe”. In all, an international poll conducted by the BBC found that only 1 in 20 nations would have voted for Mitt Romney – the sole red nation, trivially, being Pakistan.
2. Don’t keep binders full of women
At this point, even blue-blooded liberals would be forced to admit that President Obama effectively didn’t show up to the first debate – and for the entire week that followed, Mitt Romney was actually able to personify America’s rational, centre-right ideologies. Subsequently, all Romney had to accomplish in order to win the Oval Office was to avoid saying anything utterly stupid and/or sexist for three weeks. Cue one of 2012’s most iconic phrases: “Binders full of women.”
Hot off of his impressive debate win, Mitt Romney chose to celebrate the following week by illustrating the ways in which he supports equal rights for women in the workplace. His methodology: to explain how he so lovingly sought out qualified cabinet members of the female variety whilst serving as Massachusetts’ Governor.
“I went to a number of women’s groups and said: ‘Can you help us find folks,’ and they brought us whole binders full of women’,” Mr Romney relayed excitedly.
Unfortunately, the majority of women found the comment slightly less progressive, and a little more on the 1950s chauvinist side of equality. For future reference, women apparently prefer not to be equated dismissively as fitting into binders.
3. Don’t remind Americans how much poorer they are than you
It’s not a crime to rich – in fact, there have been very few US Presidents in recent memory that didn’t own at least $1m in at least one offshore bank account. That being said, Mitt Romney – who is worth at least $250m that America knows about – should have foreseen somewhere along the line that his wealth was indeed going to become a dilemma. Voters first took issue with Mitt’s fortune when he jokingly bet rival candidate Rick Perry $10,000 over a healthcare disagreement. Was the comment made in jest? Most likely – yet all sense of humour was completely lost on some of those who are not millionaires, as Mitt Romney does indeed appear to be the sort of man who would make such a bet in all seriousness.
In hindsight, Mr Romney would have done well do avoid all association with his intense, class-defying wealth; however, casual summer trips to sip champagne in London whilst watching his wife’s horse compete in equestrian events somehow failed to downplay the former Governor’s inability to connect with blue-collar America.
4. Don’t tell 47% of voters to go fuck themselves
Undoubtedly a defining moment of the campaign, Mother Jones‘ release of the now-infamous ‘47%’ video was not nearly as detrimental a blow to the candidate’s chances it should have been. Indeed, the way in which Romney was able to claw his way back in the polls only weeks after its release undeniably speaks volumes as to how disenchanted American voters must have been with their President.
That being said, Presidential-hopefuls of 2016 should duly avoid making assertions that half of their nation will not “take responsibility for their own lives”, as people typically vote for the candidate who believes in the existence of their inherent freedom of will.
5. Familiarise yourself with what you supposedly hate
In the first lack-lustre debate between America’s two aspiring leaders, Mr Romney firmly asserted that Barack Obama’s health care plan – which is effectively a replica of the plan designed by Mr Romney – “puts in place an unelected board that’s going to tell people ultimately what kind of treatments they can have”; however, this trivial assessment was anything but accurate.
In fact, the “unelected board” to which Romney referred is the Independent Payment Advisory Board – a speculative panel of health experts that would be given the power to force additional cuts in Medicare subsequent to the plausible inability of Congress to prevent costs from rising beyond a certain threshold. It is specifically stipulated within the bill that said panel does not have the power to ration care or limit the treatment options to which doctors and patients have access.
Unfortunately, Mr Romney apparently failed to grasp the focal point of the Advisory Board’s directive – yet that certainly didn’t stop him from attempting to drive his misguided argument home in the following debate.
6. Get your story straight
The Republican Party undoubtedly emerged in 2012 with the most conservative platform in recent history; however, the party simultaneously and undoubtedly failed to emerge with the most conservative candidate for the Presidency – or even the fourth or fifth most, for that matter. Mr Romney’s stance on abortion – one of America’s most bitterly debated social issues – evolved in polar directions no less than four times whilst chasing down America’s Presidency; however, whether a woman had the right to choose wasn’t the former Governor’s only major policy reversal.
Last week, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed President Obama solely on the basis that Mr Romney had flip-flopped on his support of the government’s environmental policy. Only days, later, the Romney Campaign found itself scrambling to reassure victims of Hurricane Sandy that a prospective President Romney would – just like his ‘socialist, big government’ opponent – ensure that funding to federal disaster relief organisations would become a top priority.
Having previously referred to FEMA as “immoral” and “jeopardising the future of our kids”, Romney was forced into releasing a statement in which he admitted that “FEMA plays a key role” in saving lives, and vowed to ensure it would always have “the funding it needs to fulfill its mission.”
7. Don’t say that life would be easier if you were a minority
Mitt Romney’s ‘47%’ video didn’t merely offend half of America – in fact, it was able to hone in on one of Mr Romney’s more trivial beliefs: that life would be easier if he were an ethnic minority.
After admitting at the fundraiser that he would make no attempt whatsoever to woo America’s welfare-reliant voters, Mr Romney then nonchalantly connected this demographic to his most recent project of courting Latino voters by way of reference to his Mexican-born father, the late Governor George Romney.
“He was born in Mexico,” Romney chuckled. “And uh, had he been born of Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot at winning this. But he was unfortunately born to Americans living in Mexico. They lived there for a number of years, and I say that jokingly but it would be helpful to be Latino.”
Laughter amongst Romney’s privileged donors momentarily ensued, and then the moment was gone – yet what ideology must be imprinted upon a presidential-hopeful’s brain in which such a race-driven association is given zero thought whatsoever? Unbeknownst to Mr Romney, the Latino community tends to vote based upon issues that matter – not based upon the colour of a candidate’s skin.
In retrospect, it’s probably a lot more difficult being a minority than Mr Romney originally perceived – especially given the xenophobic legislature that was produced in Arizona by Romney’s top immigration advisers. The Latino community was justifiably less than amused, and turned out for President Obama.
8. Don’t befriend men obsessed with rape
Former Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan is a popular guy – as a result, he had a lengthy-list of Tea Party friends around the country this year that he felt obligated to support in their respective state elections; however, it just so happened that three of these particular friends held very odd and very offensive views on women’s health.
Republican Todd Akin – who co-wrote a women’s health bill with Mr Ryan and sits on the House Committee for Science, Space and Technology – started the festival of ignorance in August, when he infamously informed America that, in the case of a “legitimate rape”, the female body was unable to conceive life. 32,000 rape-induced pregnancies a year begged to differ, and the Romney Campaign accordingly withdrew its endorsement of Todd Akin.
Yet the journey continued the following month, when Indiana candidate Richard Mourdock asserted that: “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
The Romney Campaign hastily stated that it did not condone Mourdock’s statement; however, both Romney and Ryan pledged to continue their support of Mourdock’s Campaign. That said, the controversy gave way to the realisation that Paul Ryan has repeatedly attempted to enshrine the idea of “forcible rape” – whatever the hell that means – into federal law. Only weeks ago, State Representative Roger Rivard completed the triad of super-intelligence by telling reporters that “some girls, they rape so easy.”
In all, it turns out for some reason that women don’t like being raped – nor voting for men who think they do, apparently. All three candidates lost their elections to Democratic candidates.
9. Share your tax returns
Throughout Romney’s Campaign, Democrats constantly called into question the millionaire’s tax affairs, with many wondering whether he had paid what is legally required of him. For whatever reason, Mr Romney repeatedly refused to publish more than two years’ worth of his tax returns – a move that even some Republicans thought was strange.
As a whole the issue was drawn out for a ridiculously long time, which only made it appear as if Romney truly did have something to hide. Much closer to 6 November, Romney acquiesced, and it turned out he had paid his fair share; however, the damage had already been done, and the tax returns merely served to remind Americans how much poorer they are than Mr Romney.
10. Argue with people – not chairs
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, future Republican candidates should avoid improvisational skits featuring Clint Eastwood at all costs.
Campaign organisers must have thought themselves so clever whilst booking ‘Dirty Harry’ to endorse Mr Romney at the Republican National Convention in Tampa; however, the display turned out to be utterly humiliating for all parties involved. Indeed, Mr Eastwood proceeded to spend ten minutes mumbling ill-conceived and misguided one-liners at an empty wooden chair – which was apparently seating an invisible Barack Obama. The process as a whole provided comedians with the material of their dreams, and served to remind Americans that perhaps Clint Eastwood is becoming a little more senile than his Oscar-winning films would have us believe.
Only time will tell whether America’s future Republican candidates will choose to learn from the vast array of knowledge that Mitt Romney was able to scatter so thoughtfully across the country whilst pursuing America’s Presidency. Yet in the meantime, it remains utterly clear that the entire world could stand to learn a thing or two from Mitt Romney’s many successes and failures – the foremost lesson being how not to run for President.