Speaking yesterday to a crowd in the enlightened bellwether that is South Carolina (where the political pandering is almost as suffocating as the Kudzu), Mitt Romney “mistakenly” referred to Osama Bin Laden as Barack Obama for a portion of his speech on the war on terror. From the NYTimes’s Caucus Blog:
“I think that is a position which is not consistent with the fact,” Mr. Romney said. “Actually, just look at what Osam — uh — Barack Obama, said just yesterday. Barack Obama calling on radicals, jihadists of all different types, to come together in Iraq. That is the battlefield. That is the central place, he said. Come join us under one banner.”
It does seems like the type of not-quite-clever, not-very-funny, possibly race-baiting, staged-incident that you might expect in the South Carolina primary, but I’m inclined to believe that it really was just a slip-up. This is, after all, a man whose knowledge of the Muslim world never really advanced past the Ridda Wars (as evidenced by his belief that Shi’ia Iran and Sunni Al Qaeda are in league to create a single “jihadist caliphate”). Such generalizationist foreign policy just doesn’t room for nuances like “1400-year old sectarian divisions” or trifling details like “Obama and Osama are two seperate people.” With that in mind, I’d really like to hear what he said after the Obama gaffe. Where was he going with that argument? Does he actually think that all insurgents/terrorists actually will unite under one banner?
…Also of note from the Romney campaign, sons Ben and Tagg will be at Fenway tonight for game one of the World Series tonight, according to Tagg’s latest post at the Five Brothers Blog. The Romney children all seem almost freakishly good natured–to the extent that they actually went out of their way to link to the new blog started by Meghan McCain (John’s daughter). They’re like long-lost cousins of Ned Flanders.
Still, with the Romneys, Christopher Dodd, John Kerry, and Ted Kennedy all crowded onto the postseason bandwagon, this does not reflect well on the already battered Red Sox fan base. There are few things more embarrasing as a Boston fan than watching a national telecast and seeing some awkward politician (and punch line) in row three with an uncomfortable blazer and brand new Sox cap–and God forbid they send Chris Meyers down to do an interview. It’s almost as bad as Dane Cook.