Posts Tagged ‘shambles

28
Jul
12

Awkward….

A British fan holds a Union flag over the head of Mitt Romney as he attended the morning swimming session on Day One of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Romney’s visit to London featured a string of embarrassing gaffes, including him doubting in an interview that the city was ready to host the Games, earning him a sharp public rebuke from Prime Minister David Cameron. The hashtag #RomneyShambles promptly trended on Twitter.

Even far-right British newspaper The Daily Mail – no friends of President Obama – was scathing in its assessment of Romney, describing it as an “abysmal diplomatic visit”:

…. After making the epic faux pas of questioning whether London was fully prepared to host the Olympic games, Mr Romney has been jeered on American TV and slammed by top British politicians, with London mayor Boris Johnston mocking the Massachusetts governor in front of a crowd of 60,000.

…. behind the scenes officials were even more scathing about the Republican presidential hopeful, describing his visit as a ‘car crash’ and comparing him unfavourably to Sarah Palin.

Another official who met with the former Governor of Massachusetts said he was ‘apparently devoid of charm, warmth, humour or sincerity’.

…. Another Whitehall official said of Mr Romney’s remarks: ‘What a car crash. We are speechless’ – with one aide saying the candidate was ‘worse than Sarah Palin’….

Chat away ;-)

28
Jul
12

Rise and Shine

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President Obama arrives to attend two campaign events at a private residence on July 27 in McLean, Virginia

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Tally? Deep breaths, okay?

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@aramis2377

The Guardian: Mitt Romney’s campaign is scrambling to limit the damage from his gaffe-strewn visit to London – which has drawn mocking put-downs from the city’s mayor and the British prime minister, and “Mitt the twit” headlines in the UK – by saying that Americans don’t care what the foreign press prints.

But the attempt to downplay the debacle made little headway in the face of a barrage of critical coverage in the US, which portrayed the Republican presidential candidate as incompetent and undiplomatic, and stinging criticism from American Olympic legend Carl Lewis, who suggested that Romney should not be allowed to travel abroad.

…. The New York Daily News called Romney’s visit to the UK “flub-filled”. “At this rate, Mitt Romney may provoke an international incident with the United Kingdom by the weekend,” it said.

…. Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, …. said the near farce of Romney’s trip will reinforce doubts in the minds of some voters about his fitness for the presidency.

“The image is somewhat that he’s not ready for prime time. It’s London for God’s sakes. You have to try to mess up a foreign debut in Great Britain if you’re an American candidate for president. It looks terrible. He was a gaffe machine. It wasn’t just a single gaffe. Every time he opened his mouth he created another gaffe,” he said.

More here

NYT: …. Mr. Romney has misspoken before, despite his highly disciplined, analytical and cautious campaign. But it may be the very consultant-cool personality of his campaign that has helped propel Mr. Romney’s Olympic-size gaffe.

…. The aftermath was swift and vicious, with the British press devouring Mr. Romney like a pile of mushy peas. His campaign was slow and flat-footed in recognizing it had a problem, and unable to improvise a quick response.

Instead, staff members were forced to watch as David Cameron, the British prime minister, offered a tart and public rebuke on Thursday. “Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere,” Mr. Cameron said, an obvious allusion to the Games Mr. Romney oversaw in Salt Lake City.

Afterward, the campaign said that Mr. Romney had misspoken because he was tired and jet-lagged… Two British television networks led with the gaffe on their nightly broadcasts (a third ran it second), and Mr. Romney awoke to British headlines proclaiming him a “party-pooper” and “Mitt the Twit.”

More here

Washington Post: Mitt Romney’s Friday was better than his Thursday. He did very little.

…. Romney’s missteps have drawn extensive mockery in Britain and public consternation from both Republicans and Democrats in the United States, and his campaign advisers were at a loss Friday to put a positive spin on the story — other than to look ahead to the next two stops on his tour.

…. As a result, there is now immense pressure on him to find better footing in Israel and Poland…

… in the absence of any new biographical narrative or policy pronouncements, the media coverage of Romney’s trip has centered on his Olympics gaffe — and the result has been brutal for the candidate.

Even some Republicans acknowledged the damage Romney’s comments had caused. “You have to sort of shake your head,” former George W. Bush strategist Karl Rove said Friday on Fox News. But Rove said he did not think it was “a big deal,” adding that Romney “walked it back adroitly, but nonetheless the damage was done.”

More here

Cagle

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Gallup: While Republicans may look favorably on Romney’s visit to Israel, another group with keen interest in U.S.-Israeli relations — Jewish Americans — solidly backs Obama in the election.

Gallup Daily tracking from June 1-July 26 finds Jewish registered voters favoring Obama over Romney by 68% to 25%. That is essentially the same as Gallup’s prior update on Jewish voting preferences.

Although one goal of Romney’s Israel visit could be to attract greater support among Jewish voters in the U.S., Jewish Americans have been a traditionally strong Democratic group, so they are unlikely to become much more supportive of Romney regardless of the outcome of the trip.

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Morning everyone ;-)

27
Jul
12

‘Are you watching Mitt? Michelle Obama gives a masterclass in diplomacy’

London Evening Standard: As a lesson in good natured statesmanship – if not to say simple manners – it was a masterclass.

For Michelle Obama cast aside stuffy protocol to join in the fun and games to celebrate today’s opening of the Olympic games with more than 1,000 children.

The First Lady met the children – most of them from U.S. military families – in the grounds of Winfield House, the official residence of the U.S. ambassador in London…..

Mrs Obama, who later tried out sports including tug-of-war and football alongside the children, offered a tribute to military families who had been invited to take part in the event….

…. It was a somewhat different story from another American visitor, presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who was forced to apologise for his comments about London’s readiness for the Games.

The gaffe-prone Republican told US channel NBC’s Today Show: “After being here a couple of days it looks to me like London is ready”.

His comments followed criticism from both David Cameron and Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt as well as worldwide condemnation from Twitter users who got #romneyshambles trending on the microblogging site.

More here

Thanks Terim

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Meanwhile, Londoners don’t know whether to laugh or growl when they spot the guy:

Grosvenor Place, London, July 27

27
Jul
12

This and That

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David Beckham

… with David Beckham, Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Squarepants and Brandi Chastain

First Lady Michelle Obama hosts a ‘Let’s Move-London’ event at Winfield House

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27
Jul
12

Rise and Shine

First lady Michelle Obama arrives at a Team USA athletes breakfast in London, July 27

Link to BBC video report here

…. with Team USA women’s basketball team

The First Lady will attend a reception for Heads of State hosted by Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace this evening. Following the reception, she will attend the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in her role as head of the Presidential Delegation.

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Thanks Zizi

I’m guessing this is a first for TOD … a link to The Sun – but that’s a quite magnificent headline :lol:

The Sun: Wannabe president Mitt Romney infuriated Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday by making a string of embarrassing blunders. The US election hopeful, on a visit to London, questioned whether the Olympics will be a success … and whether the British people will “come together and celebrate” the Olympics.

There was further embarrassment when Mr Romney said he had looked out of “the backside of Number 10” to see the beach volleyball court.

He breached diplomatic protocol by revealing he had been briefed by MI6 chief Sir John Sawers, then appeared to forget Labour leader Ed Miliband’s name, calling him “Mr Leader” instead.

Mr Cameron later slapped down the former Massachusetts governor …. In a clear swipe at Mr Romney, he added: “We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities in the world. Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.”

…. London mayor Boris Johnson publicly ridiculed Mr Romney. Addressing the crowd at an Olympic concert in Hyde Park, Mr Johnson said: “There’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know if we’re ready. Are we ready?” The 60,000-strong audience responded with a deafening cry of “Yes we are!”

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Vancouver Sun

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10:15: The President signs the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act

1:10: Attends a campaign event at the Jefferson Hotel, Washington, DC (Closed Press)

4:45: Departs the White House en route McLean, Virginia

4:55: Arrives McLean, Virginia

5:25: Attends a campaign event, private residence, McLean (Closed Press)

7:35: Delivers remarks at a campaign event, private residence, McLean

8:25: Departs McLean

8:35: Arrives at the White House

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Morning everyone ;-)

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26
Jul
12

This and That

President Obama holds a Cabinet meeting in the the White House, July 26 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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TOD Fundraisers:

a4alice * Alycee * BWD * CollegeKay * Cookemom * DonnaDem4Obama

Hachikō * Hgerhard * HZ * Judith Fardig * Mae Who Love Our CIC

Marlz * Meta * Pamela *prettyfoot58 * proudmemberofglobalzero * Theo67 * The Obama Diary

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Retweet! (Thanks LOL)

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LA Times: Among the people watching Mitt Romney’s European misadventures with interest on Thursday was President Obama’s top campaign strategist, David Axelrod.

“It’s been quite amazing so far,” Axelrod remarked Thursday. “I’m almost speechless. That doesn’t happen too often.”

Romney made headlines on his first day abroad by calling some elements of the British planning for the Olympics “disconcerting,” to the apparent annoyance of some of his hosts…..

…. British news outlets also pointed out that Romney appeared to commit a faux pas by disclosing the fact that he met with the head of MI-6, the British foreign intelligence service.

Axelrod said he was following the developments on Twitter – an unrivaled venue for the sort of brutal snark well-suited to political gaffes, but particularly ones in which the Brits weigh in. (See #romneyshambles)

More here

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UK Independent

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Friday:

10:15: President Obama signs the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act

1:10: Attends a campaign event at the Jefferson Hotel, in Washington, D.C.

4:45: Departs the White House en route McLean, Virginia

5:25: Attends a campaign event

7:35: Delivers remarks at a campaign event

8:35: Arrives at the White House

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Psst, Willard? This is how you ‘do’ Europe …. watch and learn:

Berlin, 2008

26
Jul
12

Oh dear….

Nicholas Watt (Guardian): If Barack Obama were dreaming up the ideal start to Mitt Romney’s first overseas visit as the presumptive Republican nominee, the president might wonder whether his rival could offend the US’s historic transatlantic ally.

That would obviously be rejected as impossibly ambitious, so the president might then ask himself whether Romney would fail to remember the name of one of his hosts in London.

Surely a successful businessman would never make such a basic error. So the president would wonder whether Romney would breach convention by saying in public that he met the head of MI6, Britain’s overseas intelligence agency.

To the undoubted joy of the White House, Romney stumbled on all those fronts in London on Thursday…

….. The comparisons with Romney’s trip to Europe and Obama’s visit at almost exactly the same stage in the electoral cycle four years ago are almost too embarrassing to mention. Obama wooed a quarter of a million people in Berlin while Romney was mocked by the British prime minister.

More here

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Daily Mail: Boris Johnson today issued an Olympics rallying cry in response to Mitt Romney’s dig over London’s appetite to host the 2012 Games.

The U.S. presidential hopeful, who is in the UK on a diplomatic visit, had doubted the British public’s passion for the Olympics in a television interview for U.S. network NBC.

Despite his backtracking today – saying that the Olympics would be ‘a wonderful 17 days’ – the man who could replace Barack Obama as the world’s most important leader found himself singled out as public enemy number one.

Speaking in front of 60,000 assembled in Hyde Park at a concert to mark the end of the Olympic Torch relay, the London Mayor tonight reaffirmed the city’s zeal for the event.

‘There are some people coming from around the world who don’t yet know if we are ready,’ the Mr Johnson roared. ‘There’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we are ready. Are we ready? Yes we are!’

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The Guardian: Mitt Romney handed Barack Obama a priceless gift for the US presidential election campaign when the presumptive Republican nominee blundered on his first diplomatic outing by questioning whether London was capable of staging a successful Olympic Games.

In a move that astonished Downing Street, hours before it laid on a special reception for Romney at No 10 he told NBC there were “disconcerting” signs about the preparations for the Games.

One senior Whitehall source said: “What a total shocker. We are speechless.”

David Cameron wasted no time in rebuking Romney hours after his remarks were broadcast. On a visit to the Olympic Park, the prime minister said: “We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.”

Cameron’s remarks were intended to be a light-hearted jibe at Romney, who used his famous management skills honed at Bain Capital to rescue the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.

….. Earlier, Romney appeared to forget Ed Miliband’s name when they met at Westminster. “Like you, Mr Leader, I look forward to our conversations this morning,” Romney said to Miliband as they shook hands.

…. One meeting was held way from the cameras when Romney was briefed by Sir John Sawers, the chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6. This prompted Romney’s third blunder of the day when Romney announced in Downing Street that he had met Sawers. Visiting dignitaries tend not to announce when they meet the head of MI6.

More here

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Lucy Jones (UK Telegraph): Mitt Romney is a wazzock

Who does Mitt Romney think he is? The Republican presidential nominee, has questioned Britain’s preparedness to host the London 2012 Olympics and asked whether the country is genuinely willing to “celebrate” the Games. He’s meeting David Cameron today after telling US television there were “disconcerting” signs about Britain’s readiness. That should be an interesting rendezvous. This rude discourse comes just after Romney’s advisors told this paper: “We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,” whatever that means.

I couldn’t give a monkeys about the Olympics. It’s a pain in the butt as far as I’m concerned … But perhaps Mitt Romney’s diss will transform grimaces into patriotic support. Now I feel a glimmer of protectiveness and pride. Anyway, there’s one thing Romney could learn while he’s in Britain this week: some manners.

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UK Independent

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Telegraph: …. Not content with upsetting his British hosts, Mr Romney has now also managed to enrage the travelling American press corps, who pay tens of thousands of dollars to follow him around the globe. After his meeting with Ed Miliband, the Republican presidential challenger apparently took questions only from British reporters.

The gaffe-prone Mr Romney is so rarely made available to these media “embeds” on the trail that his campaign has been nicknamed the “Mittness Protection Programme”. So his decision to ignore them during one such “avail” went down predictably badly.

The NBC News First Read blog says: “Those of us that have travelled overseas and been involved in these VERY limited press avails have rarely seen heads of democracies TOTALLY ignore their own press corps but answer ANOTHER press corps’ questions”.

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Vanity Fair: Mitt Romney’s disaster of a European vacation continues to implode. In an Olympic ceremony in Hyde Park this afternoon, London mayor Boris Johnson mocked Romney’s earlier gaffe—Disconcerting-gate—and Romney’s dumb name. “There’s guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know if we are ready. Are we ready? Yes we are!” Did Johnson make air quotes with his hands when he said “Mitt Romney”?

What else? “Romney appeared to forget [Labour Party head] Ed Miliband’s name when they met at Westminster. ‘Like you, Mr Leader, I look forward to our conversations this morning’ Romney said to Miliband as they shook hands.”’

O.K., what else? “One meeting was held [away] from the cameras when Romney was briefed by Sir John Sawers, the chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6. This prompted Romney’s third blunder of the day when Romney announced in Downing Street that he had met Sawers. Visiting dignitaries tend not to announce when they meet the head of MI6.”

Anything else? People are using the hashtag #RomneyShambles to describe the events of the 24-hour trip.

Next up: Israel!

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Meanwhile, back in the grown-ups’ world:

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GOPolitico: Republicans trying to play down President Barack Obama’s decision to launch the raid that led to the death of Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden are not getting much help from the military brass who oversaw the operation.

During a rare public interview on Wednesday, Adm. Bill McRaven, head of the U.S. Special Operations command, portrayed as bold and brave Obama’s decision to order the raid despite significant doubts about whether bin Laden was at the Abbottabad, Pakistan compound.

“At the end of the day, make no mistake about it, it was the president of the United States that shouldered the burden of this operation, that made the hard decision,” McRaven said during an on-stage interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that served as the kickoff session of the Aspen Security Forum.

…. “The president of the United States is fantastic,” the admiral said. “I’m not a political guy. I’ve worked in both [administrations,] very much enjoyed working with President Bush and I very much enjoy working for President Obama. This isn’t about politics. This is about a Commander in Chief who I have the opportunity to engage with on a routine basis.”

…. “I’m not a political guy, but I’ll tell you as an interested observer of this, they were magnificent how they handled the start-to-finish,” McRaven said. “The president asked all the right questions…The president gave me ample time to prepare once the conversations were through.”

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President Barack Obama signs the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans Executive Order in the Oval Office, July 26, 2012. Standing behind the President, from left, are: Patricia Coulter, CEO National Urban League of Philadelphia; Rep. Danny Davis, D- Ill.; Reverend Al Sharpton; Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President of University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; Benjamin Jealous, President of the NAACP; Ingrid Saunders- Jones, Chair of the National Council of Negro Women; Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa.; Kaya Henderson, Chancellor of DC Public Schools; and Michael Lomax, President of the United Negro College Fund. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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26
Jul
12

Willard’s London Trip … An Olympic-Sized Calamity

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The Guardian: …. Mitt Romney has told London it is not ready to host the Olympics. The statement has drawn catty rebukes from the highest levels, i.e. Prime Minister David Cameron….

…..  Cameron was asked about the comment this morning. He sounded insulted. “We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world,” Cameron said. “Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.”….

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…. It is unknown whether Cameron objected in person to Romney’s assertion that London appears unprepared to host the Olympics.

Whatever Cameron said, Romney did not return to his theme of his host country England’s near-sure impending international embarrassment. Instead, in a rare reversal of perspective, he showered praise on the 2012 Olympics effort.

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“D’oh”

….. barely having exited the threshold of the prime minister’s residence, the American candidate blurts that he is now in the club with British intelligence…..

…. For our American readership, this isn’t like bragging you just met David Petraeus. The British take on the national secret intelligence service comes with an extra-heavy dollop of the whole secret thing…

Good luck, Romney handlers: this is only stop No. 1 on a three-stop international tour. What will he say in Jerusalem?….

Read the full Guardian blog here, it’s a hoot.

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Telegraph: Romney is now addressing the press outside Downing Street… rather strangely he just said it was a thrill to “look out the backside of Ten Downing Street and see the Olympics.” Odd choice of words and proof that Britain and the US are divided by their common language.

Read the Telegraph blog here

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26
Jul
12

Rise and Shine

President Barack Obama steps off Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on July 25

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Alex MacGillis (The New Republic): …. cynicism has regained the upper hand this week, in a big way, with the Republicans’ out-of-context trumpeting of a single, infelicitous line from Obama’s recent riff, echoing Elizabeth Warren, about the need for public investment to sustain economic growth….

…. There is actually a pretty good argument to be had over this riff — an argument that gets to the heart of what the 2012 election is about …. But Republicans aren’t engaging in that argument. Instead, they have plucked out the single line — “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that” — which makes it sound like Obama’s ”that” refers to the business, not to the roads and bridges of the previous line…..

How has the press covered this? ….. Even Andrew Sullivan, this morning, essentially shrugged at the gambit, faulting Obama for having stumbled into the confused wording in the first place to produce his “biggest blunder yet”….

….. I’m genuinely perplexed that people who work with words for a living can be so blithe about the deliberate misuse of words to mislead. What are we in this business for if not to hold the people we cover to basic standards of context, rather than just scoring the marks left by the mistruths?

Full article here

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Charles P. Pierce: Senator McDreamy believes he’s found an acorn:

Sen. Scott Brown said Wednesday that President Barack Obama made his “you didn’t build that” comments after getting “bad advice from professor [Elizabeth] Warren.” “They’re almost verbatim,” Brown said on “Fox and Friends,” referring to a speech Warren gave last year. “And the president got bad advice from professor Warren, certainly. You’ll never hear me demonizing our job creators.”

…..  no, McDreamy, saying that the Romney campaign is lying their ass off about what he said is not the president “stepping back and correcting the record” — and undeniably true. For example, here in the Commonwealth (God save it!) we are blessed with a junior senator who benefitted early in life from the welfare benefits provided by other taxpayers that his family collected after his parents split, who attended a public high school financed by other taxpayers in Wakefield, who trained in the publicly financed Massachusetts National Guard, and who has been on the public payroll in one way or another since 1992.

You’re welcome, senator. Think nothing of it.

Full post here

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Ah, Willard is charming the British!

The UK Telegraph (right wing rag): Mitt Romney has questioned Britain’s preparedness to host the London 2012 Olympics and asked whether the country is genuinely willing to “celebrate” the Games.

….he told US television there were “disconcerting” signs about Britain’s readiness …. 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.”

…. The comments on the Olympics came after Mr Romney’s advisers told The Daily Telegraph that he would restore “Anglo-Saxon” understanding to the special relationship between the US and Britain…

…. However, Mr Romney will receive a lukewarm reception in London. He held brief talks with Ed Miliband, the Labour leader. In a gaffe of his own, Mr Romney referred to Mr Miliband as “Mr Leader”…..

…. Later on Thursday, Mr Romney is planning to hold a fundraiser at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Knightsbridge. One of the hosts of the fundraiser, former Barclays CEO Bob Diamond, withdrew from the event after he resigned in the wake of the Libor scandal.

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Tony Blair very excited to meet Willard in London

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The UK Telegraph: Barclays told to stop fundraising for Mitt Romney

Barclays has been accused of fundraising for political candidates instead of working to rebuild the public’s trust in banks following the Libor-setting scandal.

Executives at Barclays have reportedly donated more than $1m (£645,000) to to US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s election campaign.

They are set to hand over more this evening at fundraising dinner in a secret Mayfair location, where tickets cost between $50,000 and $75,000, according to the Guardian.

An early-day motion (EDM) signed by 11 MPs last week demanded the bank and its directors stop working to bolster Mr Romney’s election campaign and concentrate on repairing confidence in the banking system.

More here

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Morning everyone ;-)




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