(ThyBlackMan.com) A week ago or so, Saturday Night Live celebrated its 40th season on NBC with a live show filled with many of its famous alums. Ah, yes… the Not-Ready-for-Prime-Time Players. One of my favorite recurring bits from SNL came courtesy of Chevy Chase – who at any given time would/could gleefully throw himself into a pile of folding chairs, fall through such chairs down to the floor, and promptly get up none the worse for wear. It was a stunt as hilarious as it was cool. Interestingly enough, the Republican Party apparently has its own stable of not-ready-for-prime-time players. They’re falling down, too. However, these GOP leaders aren’t doing it for laughs. They happen to being running for our highest office. “Live from London – it’s egg on my face!” London calling? Try London falling.
To make oneself look presidential, one must do presidential things. What looks more presidential than an American Governor going to London and meeting with the current British Prime Minister? Or having an audience with the Queen of England at Buckingham Palace? Or the pomp and circumstance of being photographed by the British media while being chatted up by members of Parliament? If you can smile and breathe at the same time, you simultaneously raise your global profile as you make yourself more worthy of serious consideration as the next American President. But Republican Governors seemingly can’t pull off those two simple steps. London Bridge keeps falling down – and landing on them.
Here is a mystery worthy of Robert Downey, Jr.’s recent portrayals of Sherlock Holmes on the silver screen: What do you get when a Republican Governor with presidential aspirations from an American state travels across the pond to Merrie Olde England? Invariably, you get laughs (unintentional), life lessons, and logic bombs (self-inflicted).
The most recent GOP participants – or contestants, if you will – include Governor Mitt Romney (Massachusetts), Governor Bobby Jindal (Louisiana), Governor Chris Christie (New Jersey), and Governor Scott Walker (Wisconsin).
Governor Romney visited London in the summer of 2012, while he was in the midst of his campaign run against President Obama. At the time, Mr. Romney had money flowing from donors into his campaign coffers. His poll numbers were steady until Mitt’s unforced errors turned a week-long trip to London into an unmitigated PR disaster. With all eyes on him, Mitt publically questioned London’s readiness to stage the 2012 Olympic Games – referring to signs known only to him as “disconcerting.” British PM David Cameron replied to Mitt thusly: “We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities in the world.
Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.” Ouch. That was strike four for Mr. Romney. Strike one was when he claimed that he understood the Anglo-Saxon heritage between the US and the UK better than President Obama. Strike two occurred when Mr. Romney broke British governmental protocol by sharing during a televised press conference that he had met with the head of MI6, Britain’s super-secret foreign intelligence agency. Didn’t Mitt ever watch “Fight Club?” Strike three happened when the Massachusetts Governor repeatedly butchered Ed Miliband’s name at a presser with the leader of the UK’s Labour Party. Insulting your host is never a good idea.
Governor Jindal went chair diving during his January trip to London. Mr. Jindal doubled down on the myth of “no-go zones” – areas of England and France so overrun with Muslims that police don’t enforce laws there. Although Fox News admitted that no-go zones don’t exist, Bobby thinks America is next. Mr. Jindal makes as much sense as Kanye West at the Grammys.
Governor Christie used his time in London to inexplicably call for the mandatory vaccinations of American schoolchildren to be made voluntary. He did that as outbreaks of the measles occurred in 14 states – because parents aren’t having their children vaccinated. Mr. Christie’s attempted moonwalk days later fell flat. Oh, well. At least he didn’t tell any British media members to shut up.
Governor Walker turned his opportunity to establish diplomatic bona fides into a life lesson on intestinal fortitude. When asked in London about his views on evolution, Mr. Walker said: “For me, I’m going to punt on that one… that’s a question a politician shouldn’t be involved with one way or the other.” Is that so? Mr. Walker, prepare to see and hear “I punted” for years in commercials. Those politicians eager to properly thrash you will be your fellow Republicans. The Wisconsin Governor also fell – on his own sword.
Talk about not ready for primetime. Chevy Chase would agree.
So what have we learned, people? Republican Governors and London don’t mix. If they want to be president, and London calls, just say no. Don’t go. They ought to know.
Staff Writer; Arthur L. Jones, III
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