As Mitt Romney heads for Britain to begin his grand overseas tour (which will also take him to Poland and Israel), The Telegraph’s Washington correspondent Jon Swaine reports:
In remarks that may prompt accusations of racial insensitivity, one [Romney adviser] suggested that Mr Romney was better placed to understand the depth of ties between the two countries than Mr Obama, whose father was from Africa.
“We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,” the adviser said of Mr Romney, adding: “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have”.
May prompt accusations of racial insensitivity? Josh Marshall writes at Talking Points Memo:
To which one might respond, ya think?
Along with Romney supporter John Sununu’s statement that “I wish this president would learn how to be an American” and other such remarks, I think we’re seeing a pattern here.
Of course if one wants evidence of Obama’s failure to appreciate America’s Anglo-Saxon heritage, one need look no further than his removal of George W. Bush’s bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office, to be replaced by one of (shudder) Abraham Lincoln. Then, of course, there was Barack and Michelle Obama’s absolutely scandalous exchange of gifts with Gordon and Sarah Brown on the then-prime minister’s 2009 visit to the White House.
Brown presented Obama with a “historically resonant and tastefully symbolic” gift of a pen holder carved from the timbers of the HMS Gannet, whose sister ship supplied the wood used to make the Oval Office desk. Brown also gave Obama a first edition of Martin Gilbert’s seven-volume biography of Churchill. Obama, by contrast, came up with “what smelt like a panic buy,” a DVD collection of 25 American movies…
The First Ladies’ meeting was no better, said Sarah Vine in The Times. Sarah Brown arrived with “lovely” gifts for the Obama girls: trendy dresses with matching necklaces and a basket of books by British authors. Michelle Obama apparently had “an aide pop to the White House gift shop for a piece of merchandising”—she gave the Brown boys, Fraser and John, models of Marine One, the presidential helicopter. Such a self-aggrandizing gift is “inherently dismissive.” Worse, in the single photo the White House released of the women’s visit, “the angle is most unflattering to Mrs. Brown, who has the air of a woman very much in need of a stiff drink.”
There was a further outrage to Anglo-Saxon heritage when, on Obama’s first visit to the UK as president, Michelle Obama broke who knows how many rules of protocol by putting her arm on Her Majesty’s shoulders.
I mean, how non-Anglo-Saxon can you get?
Update: Romney himself says he believes Obama understands the “special relationship” between the US and Britain.