Given their completely opposite reactions from the first moment of the Muslim protests in the Middle East, the choice between President Obama and Mitt Romney becomes ever more sharply clear with every passing day. Where President Obama wisely waited for reliable information to emerge from the chaos of the intial reports before making a statement, Mitt Romney leapt in with wild accusations before the situation was clear, simply to score partisan points.
At the appropriate time, President Obama issued a strong statement consistent with his long term, overall approach to foreign policy, while Mitt Romney floundered in the media spotlight. Within 48 hours Mr. Romney completely contradicted his initial position, essentially embracing President Obama’s statement that he had condemned before the situation was clear. This sort of “shoot first and aim later” strategy is exactly what this country does not need in dealing with the threat of Muslim extremists.
Ironically, if there was ever a time to suspend campaigning and stand in solidarity as fellow Americans, this would have been the time to do it. If Romney had wanted to look presidential he should have offered to stand with President Obama in condemning the violence against our embassy and consulate. Instead, he jumped on the cheap partisan shot, making himself look weak and petty. As John Heilemann said in an excellent analysis, Mitt Romney “revealed himself as completely craven and his candidacy as serving no higher purpose than his ambition.”
Which come to think of it is pretty much the way Mitt Romney operated as a businessman, putting his own profit first and foremost. That works for a vulture capitalist interested only in advancing his own fortunes. But for a president, who must govern in the best interests of all the people, it just doesn’t work at all.