Mitt Romney showed he isn't ready for international primetime by questioning London's preparation for the Olympic Games, which start tomorrow. He did this hours before his meeting with the British conservative PM, and questioned the support for the Games in the British nation. He also snubbed the leader of the Labor Party by calling him "Mr. Leader," which is not one of his official titles, or his name. It is probably an attempt to convey a belief that the Labor Party wants a communist dictatorship like North Korea.
The British PM made a suitably catty reply implying Salt Lake City is the middle of nowhere, so it's easy to have an Olympics there.
Was Romney intentionally poking at the Brits, perhaps to erase the impression of slavish Anglophilia in the "Anglo-Saxon heritage" remarks of his underling? Of course not. Nor was he hitting the Brits back for releasing that story. No, Romney is all about his personal image. When he took over the Salt Lake Games he publicly called for the conviction of the previous head of the Games for bribery (even though he hired the actual Bribers himself). He will sneer at any Olympic effort which was not his own, because he thinks it boosts his image. In the same way, he has been critical of everyone at Bain since he stopped running things. In the history of the United States, there has never been a presidential candidate more focused on his personal image than this one. Not even Clinton and Nixon were this bad.
Did the Salt Lake Olympics run perfectly? Of course not. The security was excessive and there were repeated security false alarms. There were problems for disappointed local businessmen, judging problems, weather problems, course problems, Mormon image problems, and at one point a power outage as noted by this list of Canadian games stories from that time.
Is there "outrage" in America over Romney's "gaffe"? Of course not.
The American media have effectively buried the story (but will resuscitate if anything gets screwed up in London - and since something always gets screwed up, even at Beijing there were numerous problems - they will trot out these "prescient" comments). They will, however, run a Romney interview tonight in which he reiterates one of his talking points, "Stop attacking success," although the primary assailant of success in this campaign has been the Republican's assault on an improving economy, successful military and foreign policy initiatives of Obama, and popular government programs.
Meanwhile, the USOC did their part for Romney by demanding the Obama campaign discontinue an ad that shows a Beijing Olympic scene in it. The USOC appears to feel they own all such images, although I suspect a legal challenge would discover they do not.