Americans have always had a way with words, and when it comes to presidents, we have been unafraid to assign our leaders with nicknames both honorable and cutting.
Everyone has heard Honest Abe for toor Old Hickory for Andrew Jackson. But there are other early examples that have nearly been forgotten.
George Washington was The Father of His Country to his supporters, but The Stepfather of His Country to his critics.was nicknamed The Butcher, for his years as a general. Teddy Roosevelt was called many things, among them, Teddy the Meddler for his own big Government policies, and The Man on Horseback for his rugged attitude. Two-time President got the nickname Hangman, for sentencing a murderer to the gallows while Sheriff of Eerie County, New York. But the most unfortunate nickname, by far, goes to the 19th president, Rutherford B. Hayes, who was sometimes referred to simply as Granny.
After Sunday’s column by Maureen Dowd of The New York Times, I think it is safe to officially don with a nickname of his own; The Robot. And as the race moves closer and closer to November, it’s looking as if Romney is wired to self-destruct.
I can think of no other way to explain the comments he made about the English handling of the 2012 Olympics in London. “It is ‘hard to know just how well it will turn out,'" The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker quoted Romney saying, among other things, last Friday, the day of the game’s Opening Ceremonies.
Needless to say, the British did not appreciate Romney’s comments, yet they responded the way a heavyweight would to an old man in glasses trying to pick a fight-by laughing it off. And Romney snuck out the back door red-faced, to the next stop on his stately tour, Israel, where he closed the door to media during a fundraiser in Jerusalem.
So, I guess I should rephrase the lead sentence of this piece to say, Americans used to have a way with words. Because Romney’s fumbling and bumbling comments to our friends in Europe is a far cry from the quick-witted phrases turned by politicians and commoners alike in the early years of our country’s existence. As a result, Romney’s press snub in The Holy Land can be taken less as standard campaign business, and more like plugging the hole in a sinking ship.
Mitt The Robot Romney, wired like Rosie from "The Jetsons." But if Mitt is in the habit of making a joke of himself to friends of ours, imagine what he will do in a room of our enemies?
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