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March 20, 2007

Annals of all-time bad advance work
Posted by Teresa at 02:57 PM * 58 comments

Mitt Romney has put his foot in it. At the annual Miami-Dade Lincoln Day Dinner (for our overseas readers, that translates as “South Florida, right-wing Republicans”), he ended his speech with the stirring phrase, “¡Patria o muerte, venceremos!”

Somehow, Romney missed out on knowing that that phrase—“Fatherland or death, we shall overcome!”—has for decades been the closing line of almost every one of Castro’s speeches. It’s 100% associated with the Castro regime.

Romney’s audience was not impressed. It’s not that they thought he was a Castro supporter; they just thought he was an idiot.

Comments on Annals of all-time bad advance work:
#1 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2007, 03:26 PM:

OMG.

Evidently he never heard of the Venceremos Brigade.

Almost as good as John McCain not knowing what he thinks about condoms.

#2 ::: Bill Blum ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2007, 03:27 PM:

The GOP primaries are going to be a trainwreck of epic scale. I look forward to the carnage.

#3 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2007, 03:29 PM:

Well, Romney's got the fidelista vote sewn up. Perhaps he'll try 'working men of all countries, unite!' as his next catch-phrase. Or, perhaps, 'power comes from the barrel of a gun' -- thus sewing up both the Maoist and the NRA vote.

#4 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2007, 03:50 PM:

I'm from Massachusetts. Romney doing an Igli of his own volition is no less than he deserves.... having reversed himself on all sorts of things on the way to making a pretzel look like a straight line, the more gaffes he makes on campaign, the more his true quality and integrity show through.

He's become a pretzel of politically expedient to his audience of the demiyear opinions and values and words. Foot in mouth in disease is something that he massively deserves.

#5 ::: Mary R ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2007, 04:10 PM:

I was wondering what today's Boston Herald SCREAMINGBOLDHEADLINE - "MITT'S COMMIE PHRASE SPARKS RAGE" was about.

Thanks for the information. They have a really cute photoshopped pic of Mitt in full Fidel garb, including cigar. Link

#6 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2007, 04:27 PM:

between this and Tom Tancredo's Miami is a third-world country comment, they really are making friends among the cubans.

#7 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2007, 04:36 PM:

"I am a Jelly Donut!"

#8 ::: inge ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2007, 04:49 PM:

#7: Not again.

#9 ::: JC ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2007, 05:07 PM:

#7,#8: As Inge implies, I don't think this is an apt comparison. According to those who know German better than I, and as summarized on Wikipedia, Kennedy did not misspeak.

More importantly, that was a landmark speech by a popular and charismatic president articulating US foreign policy. This is Mit Romney doing what he does best.

#10 ::: JerolJ ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2007, 05:46 PM:

I read a year or two ago that the latest generation of Cuban-Americans are abandoning their parents and grandparents obsession with Fidel and returning to Cuba. I've got no link to support this and if I recall that most of the info in the article was anecdotal rather than based on any survey. But what interested me was that it proposed that this generation were far more likely to vote blue, which means everything in a toss-up state like Florida. And if idjits like Mitt screw up with the base, it's even better.

#11 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2007, 05:54 PM:

The former heir presumptive of the House of Shrub committed a more egregious error shortly after the start of the Great Liberation of the Iraqis. Speaking to assembled businessmen in Madrid, he expressed his, his brother's, and his country's thanks to the 'presidente de la república' de España'. This must have astonished the king.

#12 ::: Chris Clarke ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2007, 06:18 PM:

INTERIOR, ROMMNEY CAMPAIGN HQ. Jim Halpert and Mitt Romney are sitting at their adjacent desks.

Jim: Mitt, if you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Mitt: I can travel anywhere, except Cuba. And I WILL travel to New Zealand, and walk the Lord of the Rings trail to Mordor. And then I will hike Mt. Doom. So, you know, just- leave me alone.

Jim: Okay, just trying to get some advice on my trip.

Mitt: Oh please, you're not taking any trip.

(Jim looks at Mitt, then the camera, then back to Mitt)

Jim: You know, I majored in public speaking in college.

Mitt: You did?

Jim: Mm-hmm. And the first thing that they teach you is that you've gotta be true to yourself. And you are all about authority.

Mitt: Yes, I am.

Jim: The great speakers throughout history were not joke tellers, they were people of passion. So, if you wanna do well today, you gotta do what they did.

Mitt: Which is?

Jim: You gotta wave your arms, and you've gotta pound your fists. Many times. (Jim pounds his desk) So as to emphasize your point.

CUT TO INDiVIDUAL SHOT OF JIM

Jim: Okay, I didn't actually major in public speaking. But I did download speeches from some of history's famous dictators. Like this one. (holds up a sheet) Originally given by Fidel Castro.

CUT BACK TO THE OFFICE

(Jim walks up to Mitt)

Jim: Okay, look, I know you're giving this speech on your own. But I wrote up a few talking points for you to look at. Hope you don't mind.

Mitt: I'll glance at it.

#13 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2007, 08:41 PM:

Perhaps something like

"Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party"

might have worked better.

#14 ::: Jon H ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2007, 10:07 PM:

At least he didn't make a campaign pledge to personally perform Castro's posthumous baptism into the Mormon church, should Fidel kick off during a Romney administration.

#15 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2007, 10:51 PM:

Lessee, has the story spread to the rest of the USA about Romney's lawn having been tended by citizens from south of the USA border who did not have green cards?

#16 ::: Greta Christina ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 03:27 AM:

"Fatherland"?

Can I just say: ew.

And I'm devastated that the jelly donut thing is an urban legend. I don't know how I'll find the strength to carry on.

#17 ::: John Rynne ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 05:59 AM:

Some time ago I caught an interview with Romney (almost certainly Faux News), where he talked about US troops "standing there with their AK-47s". !!

#18 ::: BigHank53 ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 07:35 AM:

Maybe he can sing the Internationale for the John Birch Society next.

#19 ::: Heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 07:53 AM:

#17 John Rynne: "Some time ago I caught an interview with Romney (almost certainly Faux News), where he talked about US troops "standing there with their AK-47s". !!"

!! indeed! What's next, calling an Abraham a Panzer?

#20 ::: neil ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 09:48 AM:

More U.S. troops using confiscated AK-47 rifles

"We just do not have enough rifles to equip all of our soldiers. So in certain circumstances we allow soldiers to have an AK-47. They have to demonstrate some proficiency with the weapon ... demonstrate an ability to use it," said Lt. Col. Mark Young, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 4th Infantry Division.

#21 ::: frofreak ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 10:01 AM:

You all should read his actual speach, not just the Boston Globe artical writ...um, spun about it. Confirmation Bias at its absolute finest.

#22 ::: Jakob ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 10:17 AM:

#19 Heresiarch - a small nitpick: The US main battle tank is the M1 Abrams. God may be on the side of the big battalions, but as yet the US Army do not ride into battle on Old Testament patriarchs...

#23 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 10:20 AM:

According to one report I saw, some US troops in Iraq would rather have AK-47s. If they have to shoot, every insurgent in earshot knows the sound of an American rifle.

And an Abrams is a panzer. If the crew are German-speaking.

(The Panzerlied is reported to have been popular amongst American tank crews. While the tune is used for a French Foreign Legion song.)

Of course, there's always Lili Marleen. though the original well-known version wasn't by Marlene Dietrich.

#24 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 10:32 AM:

[cheap shot, I admit, BUT....]

What's a "speach" ?

And what Boston Globe "artical"? Someone mentioned a Herald article, I think... the Herald may or may not be more centrist than the Manchester Union Leader, but that's saying that the garbage disposal doesn't stink as badly as the charnel pit. And whatever is "Coonfirmation Bias at is absolute finest" supposed to denote/refer to? [At least "finest" and "its" have the appropriate spellings...]

Regarding Romney and the lawn caretakers, I didn't find out about that from the Glob.... it got widely reported in this area for a brief amount of time, under the implicit heading of "hypocrisy." The fact that Romney was out of state something like 2/3rd of the entire year in 2006 despite collecting a salary for holding the title "Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts" while doing MAYBE as much work for governing the state, as the Repugnicrap politicians with the 65 days that Congress spent in session in 2006.... mostly Romney was out in pre-campaign-bid politicking, casting aspersions of the state he officially was still governor of.
Pondscum has more socially redeeming value....

#25 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 11:07 AM:

#22; the British Army has gone into battle radding an assortment of ecclesiastical dignitories.

Bishop

Priest

Sexton

Abbot

While the M7 Priest was awkward in British service because it used different ammunition to the normal 25-pounder. the American 105mm also had a different sighting system. The British sighting systems in WW2 were very different to those used by other armies.

#26 ::: Jakob ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 11:25 AM:

#25 Dave Bell: To that list one could perhaps add the M109 Paladin and the cancelled Crusader; interesting that they're all artillery pieces. I wonder also whether the name Priest was influenced by the tool used to whack fish on the head by anglers.

#27 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 11:39 AM:

It turns out that "Patria o muerte, venceremos!" is reputed to be what Los Niños Héroes of of Chapultepec cried as they leapt from the citadel, rather than be taken alive by the US Marines.

#28 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 11:48 AM:

Randolph @ 27

Still not something you'd want to use to Cubans. And in this case, I'd also want to avoid using it in trying to get those of Mexican descent to vote for me.

#29 ::: Bruce Cohen, SpeakerToManagers ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 11:56 AM:

Fragano @ 11

That remark was just wishful thinking. The neocons really want Franco back in the worst way, and I mean that in all possible readings. Now there, they think, was a man who knew how to treat Commies.

#30 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 12:28 PM:

Bruc, #29 They want Savonarola, I think [spelling]

#31 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 12:41 PM:

#25: during the Battle of Normandy, Canadian and British infantry rode into battle in armoured personnel carriers improvised by taking a Priest self-propelled gun and removing the gun; these were known as Unfrocked Priests.
Apparently the Priest had a pulpit-like turret.

There was a British cruiser tank called the Crusader in the Western Desert; Keith Douglas commanded one. (Read his book "Alamein to Zem Zem"; Douglas was the only poet of the Second World War to match Sassoon, Graves and Owen in the First, and the book is a posthumously-edited collection of his diaries and letters home.)

#30: Savonarola is correct. Now, how do you pronounce it?

#32 ::: Madison Guy ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 12:56 PM:

Not as if Mitt is the first Romney to put his foot in it when running for president. Romney family foot-in-mouth-disease.

#33 ::: Marc ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 01:01 PM:

#21: Yes, read the Miami Herald article. Or, better yet, the foreignpolicy.com article. The latter tells you that the online transcript has been changed relative to the actual speech. "Confirmation Bias." I'm afraid that those words do not mean what you think they mean....

#34 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 01:11 PM:

I was referring to the Boston Herald, which has the caricature of Romney on the cover. The Herald, again, is not casually mistakable for centrist or left of center editorial views, though occasionally it will go after a Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney for egregious hypocritical/morally hypocritical behavior (it had a field day with Jeb Bush's divorce with the sex trips to Thailand and the six and seven figure payments from federal contractors for no specified services provided in return....)

#35 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 01:11 PM:

I was referring to the Boston Herald, which has the caricature of Romney on the cover. The Herald, again, is not casually mistakable for centrist or left of center editorial views, though occasionally it will go after a Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney for egregious hypocritical/morally hypocritical behavior (it had a field day with Jeb Bush's divorce with the sex trips to Thailand and the six and seven figure payments from federal contractors for no specified services provided in return....)

#36 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 01:11 PM:

I was referring to the Boston Herald, which has the caricature of Romney on the cover. The Herald, again, is not casually mistakable for centrist or left of center editorial views, though occasionally it will go after a Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney for egregious hypocritical/morally hypocritical behavior (it had a field day with Jeb Bush's divorce with the sex trips to Thailand and the six and seven figure payments from federal contractors for no specified services provided in return....)

#37 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 01:12 PM:

I HATE EFFING COMPUTER MICE AND WIMP-GUIs
[regarding the multiple posting....]

#38 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 01:21 PM:

#21, Ajay, it was the structure where the machinegun was mounted that was known as the pulpit. As with a lot of other American AFVs, the British added their own names, rather than relying on the American numbering system. Early on, they were getting M3 light tanks and M3 medium tanks and M3 half-tracks.

It may be that the US Army was calling the M4 medium tank a Sherman by 1944. So we stuck a decent gun in the turret and called it a Firefly.

#39 ::: Bruce Cohen, SpeakerToManagers ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 01:44 PM:

Jakob @ 22

Although the CinC does have a habit of sacrificing other people's children on the alter of National Security.

#40 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 01:45 PM:

In #21 Frofreak, a correspondent not previously seen on Making Light, offers wisdom:

You all should read his actual speach, not just the Boston Globe artical writ...um, spun about it. Confirmation Bias at its absolute finest.

Prompted by your remarks, I went looking.

The Romney campaign once had a page called but it has been removed from the site. So news accounts are the only current way to learn about Romney's remarks on the Web.

Fortunately, a copy of the yanked news release containing the speech still exists in Google's cache (but for how long?) You might want to contact Kevin Madden at 857-288-6390 to inquire why the press release has disappeared. He seems to be the person responsible for it. He also seems to have left ellipses in it, even in the cached copy, so it's presumably not a full version of the Governor's remarks.

#41 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 02:02 PM:

Obviously [slow sarcastic drawl] Romney's campaign subscribes to the policies and values and views of Uncle Joe Stalin and the redactionists of the USSR who specialized in retouching everything from photographs to Lenin's corpse to emend text and content for changing the official attendance lists and records of who was where and what was said by whom at May Day parades and other events....

#42 ::: Bruce Cohen, SpeakerToManagers ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 02:07 PM:

Paula @ 30

they want Savonarola, I think [spelling]

Yes, I think that's spelled right. I'm not sure just how crazy these crazies we've got really are. If they ever get really black-shirt crazy, they'll want a more modern figure than Savonarola. Some one like Goebels, for instance. And they'll be happy as long as the trains to the camps run on time. (Sorry, bad valve on the bitterness tank caused spillage there)

#43 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 02:51 PM:

They don't really want Savonarola.
Not Really.
He was an equally-opportunity head-crushing moral purist. This is the last thing they want, because the concept "IOKIYAR" would not be within his ken. In fact, as far he was concerned, it would just add to the list of their sins. Applying rigid moral demands only to those who are outside the club was not part of his program, and he didn't care much who he called out. This is why he ended up on top of a bonfire.

#44 ::: mjfgates ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 02:55 PM:

All this talk of Romney and panzers has me envisioning him in an Afrika Korps uniform, battling against Field Marshal Montgomery and trying to conquer Libya.

Come to think of it, if by some ungodly circumstance we end up with a Republican in the Oval Office come 2009, we MIGHT end up trying to conquer Libya. We'd prob'ly do nearly as well as the Italians.

#45 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 04:11 PM:

[accidentally misslotted into the wrong thread a few minutes ago.... now in the more appropriate thread]

Romney campaign goes Godwin's Law...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17718509/

My willing suspension of belief takes a hit, even though this allegedly really is Real Life.... bad fantasy novels have to be saner, they have to be....


#46 ::: inge ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 04:56 PM:

#18, BigHank53: Maybe he can sing the Internationale for the John Birch Society next.

I want to be a fly on the wall for that.

#47 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 04:57 PM:

Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) #29: Well, after 23 February, 1981, it became clear that he would not rise again. (One wonders what he would have made of Communist leader Santiago Carrillo heaping praise on the king. Juan Carlos's standing for democracy converted most of the Spanish left to monarchism.)

#48 ::: Bruce Cohen, SpeakerToManagers ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 07:02 PM:

mjfgates @ 44

With our military in the condition it is now, we wouldn't do as well as the Italians. Imagine how well we'll do after another 22 months of The War to Make Bush Feel Like a He-Man.

#49 ::: Jon H ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 07:29 PM:

If Romney gets the nomination, I wonder if a viable Democratic tactic would be to hire Cliff, Norm, Carla, Woody, and Frasier to follow him around and make fun of Romney as if he's Sam Malone from Cheers.

Problem is, that might actually work in Romney's favor.

#50 ::: Jonathan Edelstein ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 10:27 PM:

#29

That remark was just wishful thinking. The neocons really want Franco back in the worst way, and I mean that in all possible readings.

Franco never held the title of "president," though, and his Spain wasn't a republic. If Reagan had really wanted to hark back to the days, he would have toasted el jefe de estado.

#51 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2007, 10:59 PM:

Jonathan Edelstein #50: It wasn't Reagan. it was Jeb Bush.

As one Spanish journalist wrote at the time: 'There are three possibilities: (1) his mind took a detour to 1931; (2) he knows something we don't; or (3) he hasn't the least bloody idea how this country is run.'

#52 ::: Heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2007, 01:40 AM:

#22 Jakob: "a small nitpick: The US main battle tank is the M1 Abrams. God may be on the side of the big battalions, but as yet the US Army do not ride into battle on Old Testament patriarchs..."

See, I knew, knew that if I opened my mouth I'd make some stupid faux pas. Yet, I did it anyway.

Though seeing all the fascinating trivia that poured forth, I can't say I'm entirely regretful...

#53 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2007, 03:51 AM:

Jonathan Edelstein @ 50

I think we should just call all chief executives "El Cola"* and be done with it. It indicates the appropriately analogous part of the anatomy so much better than "head" of state.

* I don't speak Spanish, and for a long time I thought that "El Caudillo" meant "The Little Tail" because of the Latin "cauda". I really should have known that Franco could never be that humorous about himself.

#54 ::: Matthias ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2007, 04:22 AM:

Viva la muerte al intelligencia o patria!

#55 ::: Jonathan Edelstein ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2007, 08:27 AM:

I don't speak Spanish, and for a long time I thought that "El Caudillo" meant "The Little Tail" ... I really should have known that Franco could never be that humorous about himself.

No, his sense of humor wasn't nearly as good as Caligula's.

#56 ::: in medias res ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2007, 11:38 PM:

Oh great entry – let me pass on this one from Brad DeLong – I’m collecting them.

http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/movable_type/

Another Reason to Vote Against Mitt Romney

Isaac Chotiner:
The Plank: BEYOND OUR BORDERS: Mitt Romney and his wife were on 'Larry King Live' last week, and the former governor discussed his Mormon mission overseas:
"Oh, it is a fabulous experience. Look, I was sort of having fun going to college and not worrying about the future. And then I went to a different country and saw how different life could be if we didn't have the values and the kinds of opportunities that exist in America."
It is indeed tragic that so much of the world doesn't have the same freedoms and conveniences that America does. Whole continents are filled with the scourges of disease and poverty. I'm just glad that Romney got a small taste of how so much of humanity actually lives.
Anyhow, where exactly was he?
"I was in France. Bordeaux, Paris, all over France. A great learning experience to live overseas."
March 20, 2007 at 02:55

#57 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2007, 04:37 AM:

Dave Bell @ #25:

Not to mention the vicars.

#58 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2007, 07:39 AM:

Paula Lieberman, #s 34-36: I think it was Bush brother Neil with the sex trips to Thailand, not Jeb.

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