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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Romney's Journey

By going overseas, Mitt Romney is trying to build up his credibility on foreign policy. The trip does draw attention away from the Bain issue, but that isn’t the motive, since it has been in the works for a long time. 

The visit to the United Kingdom will remind people of Romney’s leadership of the 2002 Winter Olympics.  That was his highest-profile involvement in international affairs to date, but not his only one.  He did his Mormon mission in France, and became conversant in French.  And during his business career, he did extensive work overseas.

It is natural for Romney to go to Israel. He has been friends with Prime Minister Netanyahu for 36 years. Although Netanyahu is nominally impartial in American elections, he has close ties to Republicans, and a frosty relationship with the incumbent. President Obama will surely carry a majority of the Jewish vote in November, but if Romney can just slightly improve the GOP percentage in this segment of the electorate, he might have a better chance of carrying Florida.

The trip to Poland has electoral significance. There are large clusters of Polish Americans in Michigan and Pennsylvania, two large states that Romney might be able to carry in November. 

There was talk of a German leg to the trip, but its absence will not hurt Romney.  True, more non-Hispanic Americans trace their ancestry to Germany than to any other country.  But in most cases, these German roots go back more than a century, and the two world wars led many German Americans to downplay their heritage. Therefore there is no longer any significant “German American” vote.