John Kushma

John Kushma

Mitt Romney just can’t win for losing. His motto should be "One Step Forward, Two Steps Back." When the guy is not putting his foot in his mouth, he’s shooting himself in the foot.

Romney, now a U.S. senator from Utah (he took Orin Hatch’s place), was speaking to a group in Salt Lake City recently and said he believes that climate change is happening and that human activity is a significant factor. Well, thank you, Mr. Obvious, we had no idea. What? Now it’s official because your observations and extensive research have led you to this groundbreaking conclusion? Or, are you playing your flip-flop politics again cautiously hunting for party favor (either party), blatantly trolling for votes, and shamelessly looking for some media face time?

Let’s take a closer look at Mitt.

First, the photo ops are not working. I've yet to see a commanding photo of Mitt in political action. I mean, does the guy look confident in what he’s saying? No. Maybe that’s because he’ll probably soon be supporting Trump and Mitch McConnell in their quest to wipe out every EPA regulation in the name of more jobs. That’s ‘jobs‘ Mitt. Think about it, jobs means votes. But those would be political capital vote-getting jobs not real jobs. Those real jobs don’t exist. You know that. Hmmmm ...better start hedging your bets. Save the planet, or garner your own political favor and personal wealth? Tough choice. We can see the indecision in your eyes and hiding behind that phony tan. You look like an advertisement for Man-Tan. That’s not a workingman’s tan or even a golfer’s tan looks more like like a ‘lying’ in a lounge sunbathing tan to me ...aka a George Hamilton tan.

Last year Mitt was photographed while speaking at what looked to be a retirement home. The photo speaks for itself.

What’s even more amusing is the focus on Romney’s young aide holding his chair.

What’s significant about that photo is Romney’s questionable decision-making capability. Forget the obsolescent mom jeans look, does it look to you like standing on that chair was a good decision? It doesn’t look safe. It looks like the chair’s small seat base and weighted undercarriage structure and it’s height proximity from the floor would be a reckless place for a 6-foot, 2-inch, 180-pound man waving his arms with a microphone. The odds of a disaster appear high. But he needed to be above the crowd, seen and heard. The solution: Get an aid, a strong one, to hold the base of the chair escalating the unstable physics of the situation and practically assuring a tip-over. Well, I hope it all worked out and he got the votes. The crowd did look enthralled. 

Romney’s infamous “47 percent” quote was named "quote of the year" by many news organizations. It will go down in history as one of Romney’s dumbest gaffes. At a fundraiser breakfast in 2012, when Romney and Paul Ryan were running for president on the Republican ticket against Barack Obama and Joe Biden, Romney was recorded, unknowingly, making a defamatory slur about a segment of America’s population. Whether you agree with Romney’s basic idea is your own personal decision.  But for a high profile, professional, mature man, even for a politician, it would be a big mistake to shoot yourself in the foot like that.

And just for the record, that's not the only dumb thing he's said.

I don’t have anything personal against Mitt Romney, in fact he is even a distant relative going back to the Mexico/Mormon/polygamy days. I’ve never met him. But he just comes off as a foolish man concerned with his own career and not "saving the country" as his friends and family call out to his destiny. I'm not trying to be rude or disrespectful, either. But politicians are fair game for criticism, just as we are fair game for them for their insincerities. Gotta call 'em like you see 'em.

Romney comes from a politically and corporately driven family. His father, George W. Romney, was president of American Motors, governor of Michigan, and U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Mitt is a “businessman” (I love that moniker — "businessman" — sounds like a gambler) and former governor of Massachusetts. He seems to move around a lot. Some claim he “saved” the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City by taking over from a couple of local crooks who were cooking the books and spending money like sailors on shore leave. Mitt did a good job, but all he had to do was kick ass and take names.

To me, my biggest disappointment in Mitt was the way he flip-flopped on Trump. Calling him a fraud and con man, then dining with and kissing Trump’s you know what thinking he would become Trump’s Secretary of State. Shameless. Unconscionable. Pathetic. Weak.

These days, Mitt is keeping his distance from the hot party-line issues like immigration and gun control and sticking with the safe ground of environment, climate and global warming where it’s easy to slide back and forth — to flip-flop. He told the group to which he was recently speaking in Salt Lake City that “In some respects (by speaking with newer conservatives), I’ll be able to make inroads with some of the young people coming along.” A noble calling. A patronizing statement.

A good politician will hedge his bets and always position himself on the fence so whatever he says can be either interpreted in different ways or phrased so he can retract, redact and react accordingly.

So, I guess Mitt Romney is a good politician. I just wish he was a good statesman.

John Kushma is a communication consultant and lives in Logan, Utah.