Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Remember when Romney said that he was concerned because of stories about problems with Olympic security in London? Even though he had run the Salt Lake City Olympics he was derided for not appreciating the differences between having the games in a small town in the middle of nowhere and in a great city.

Now that the London Olympics are finished, one of Britain's top military officials says that it will take the military two years to recover from having the deployment.

Wing Commander Peter Daulby also told The Guardian that the need to send 18,000 troops to Olympic venues after security shortfalls by private contractor G4S proved that Britain "needs a military for more than war fighting."

He said that the deployment took troops away from normal duties and highlighted the danger of "pulling the military down."

[...] It will take two years to recover from this, to get back to normal, to get everything back into kilter. You can't expect them to go back to normal routine very easily
So, maybe there was cause for concern and, just maybe, Romney commented on an uncomfortable situation instead of making a gaffe?

Contrast this with Biden's campaign speech yesterday. In a fake southern accent he told a largely black audience:

Romney wants to, he said in the first 100 days, he's going to let the big banks once again write their own rules. Unchain Wall Street, they're going to put y'all back in chains.

Biden later claimed that he was using the Republicans' own words against them since Romney has talked about unshackling the US economy.

Does this count as a gaffe? It probably would have if Romney had said something similar but this was just harsh campaign rhetoric. Despite Biden's insistence that he was just using Romney's own terms, telling a group of blacks that they the other side was going to put them back in chains can only be taken as a reference to slavery. That seems a bit over the top.

But the real gaffe was barely noted. He closed the speech saying:

With you, we can win North Carolina again, and if we do, we win the election if we win with you.

The only problem was that he was in Virginia. That is a gaffe. NBCNews buried this at the bottom of the column and gave excuses:

Appearing in Virginia, just a few miles from the North Carolina border, Biden won cheers despite mixing up the hard fought battlegrounds where he's stopping on his three-day swing this week.

"With you, we can win North Carolina again, and if we do, we win the election if we win with you," he said to applause.

Biden campaigned in North Carolina yesterday. He has two campaign events in Virginia today.

Again, would the press have been so generous to Romney or Ryan (or Sarah Palin) if they got confused about which state they were in?

You can get an idea of how hard the press works to create Romney gaffes from the statement he made in Israel about culture. He did not say anything that Obama has not said and that has not appeared in UN reports. It became a gaffe after a reporter took two unrelated sentences from the speech and asked a Palestinian official for a response.

Nothing is going to change the press's unequal treatment of Democrats and Republicans. Many of them don't even realize that they are doing it. But people need to keep this in mind when reading about how Gaffe-prone Romney is.

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