Romney Heads to England, Israel, Poland: Meeting Cameron, Kenny, Netanyahu, Walesa & More

Governor Mitt Romney is going overseas…

On Tuesday, after delivering a speech in Reno, Nevada to the Veterans of Foreign Wars at their annual conference, Romney will embark on a six-day, full schedule, listening tour to England, Israel, and Poland:

The presumptive Republican nominee and former Massachusetts governor will meet with the leaders of all three countries, other government officials, opposition leaders, and at least one U.S. ambassador. He plans to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics, visit sites of historical significance, and hold public events in at least two of the countries.

Aides say Romney does not view the trip as an opportunity to roll out any new policy proposals. “This trip is an opportunity for the governor to listen and learn, to visit countries that share common values, common interests, and I should say in many cases shared heritage with people here in the United States,” Romney’s policy director, Lanhee Chen, told reporters in a conference call previewing the trip.

… While Romney is likely to highlight differences in his approach to international relations relative to Obama, he is expected to refrain from attacking Obama while traveling abroad.

A preview of The Gov’s itinerary…

England

The Olympic rings are lit up on Tower Bridge in preparation for the start of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England. The Opening Ceremony takes place Friday, July 27, 2012.

Thursday, July 26, 2012:

Governor Romney will meet with British leaders including, Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband, Foreign Secretary William Hague, and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.

Friday, July 27, 2012:

Romney will meet with Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Later, he’ll meet with U.S. Olympic athletes and attend the 2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremonies. USA! USA! USA! (We know the strong passion The Gov has for the Olympics – the spirit of competition – and for the capacity of the games to inspire unity, mutual understanding, and respect across the world. Romney is known for his turnaround of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.) Also, if schedules can be coordinated, he may try to meet with other world leaders who are in London for the Olympics.

Israel

The gleam from the Dome of the Rock reflects the afternoon sun in Jerusalem, Israel. Among the Israeli leaders meeting with Mitt Romney will be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Sunday, July 29, 2012:

Romney has been to Israel three times in the past, on a family visit in the late 1990s and, in 2007 and 2011, on fact-finding trips focused on security and economic issues.

On this trip, he’ll meet first with Daniel Shapiro, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, who will give him a briefing. Romney will also meet with Israeli officials including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres, and will also sit down with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. He has met them all on previous trips.

While aides say Romney will not specifically criticize the president’s Middle East policy while he is in Israel, he will continue to make the case for standing with Israel – as he often does on the campaign trail. “America needs to stand by its allies, particularly allies that are under siege like Israel, particularly democratic allies who have such a shared history and shared values with America” Dan Senor, a special adviser on foreign policy, told reporters in previewing Romney’s message.

In an op-ed written yesterday, former U.S. Senator Norm Coleman (GOP) shares the following:

By sheer coincidence, Romney is an old and personal friend of Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Romney’s first job after finishing up at Harvard was at the Boston Consulting Group, and Netanyahu was working there at the time and sat in an office down the hall. The two struck up a friendship and have remained close. If Romney were to become president, it would be an extraordinary chapter in U.S.-Israeli relations.

“There is little precedent,” The New York Times wrote recently, “for two politicians of their stature to have such a history together that predates their entry into government.”

Certainly Israel could use a close friend in the White House these days.

Over the last three years, however, the U.S.-Israeli relationship has been troubled.

President Obama does not seem to have personal affection for the Jewish state. He has publicly castigated Israel, including at the United Nations. He was caught on a hot microphone denigrating Israel’s prime minister, and when Netanyahu came to Washington he received him with marked coolness, neglecting to hold the customary joint news conference before asking the Israeli leader to exit through a rear door.

Romney will also deliver remarks while in Israel.

Poland

The skyline over Gdansk, Poland turns a rosy hue at dusk. Governor Romney will meet with Poland’s former President Lech Walesa in the port city.

Monday, July 30, 2012:

Romney’s final destination is Poland, where he will meet with the current leadership, including President Bronislaw Komorowski, Prime Minister Donald Tusk, and Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski. Romney will also meet with Lech Walesa, the former Polish president and winner of the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize. Walesa, who was president from 1990 to 1995 and oversaw Poland’s transition out of communism, was the one who invited Romney to visit his country.

Ian Brzezinski, another Romney adviser, said the visit to Poland will highlight an important alliance that is “rich in history” — from Polish support for the American revolution all the way through Iraq and Afghanistan, where the country has sent troops to assist in the U.S.-led war efforts. Romney will also point to country’s economic success, which he will say stems from free market principles and capitalism – the themes he pushes on the campaign trail at home.

“This is a country that stands in sharp contrast economically to the rest of Europe where economies are dropping by about 5% or more,” Brzezinski told reporters.

Romney will also deliver remarks and visit historical sights in Poland. The ‘Lech Walesa Institute’ said in a statement that Governor Romney is visiting Poland by special invitation, issued to him at the beginning of the month, by President Walesa:

Poland and Poles are paying close attention to the election campaign in the United States, focused on choosing a leader for the American nation for the next four years,” Walesa wrote in the invitation dated July 4.

Their choice will influence the fate of America and the world.

Walesa refused to meet with Obama last year, saying “It doesn’t suit me.”

Romney’s invitation from freedom-fighter Walesa is, indeed, a high honor.

This will be a memorable week for Mitt and Ann as they find themselves in the international spotlight. It’s another opportunity for world leaders and the good people in England, Israel, and Poland to see that the USA has an opportunity, through Mitt Romney, to elect a strong, seasoned statesman who will once again respect our allies, strengthen our partnerships, and instill renewed confidence in the mighty cause of freedom.

To Mitt and Ann, Godspeed!

Follow Jayde Wyatt on Twitter @YayforSummer

St. Patrick’s Day at Mitt Romney Central: Ireland’s PM Visits USA, ‘Get Your Green On’ Dedicated to Japan

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


On the political front, Ireland’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny is in D.C. today to participate in the annual ceremony of Irish-American solidarity with President Obama. Obama will host a reception for the Prime Minister this afternoon. He also chose today to announce that he will has added Ireland to his travel itinerary in May.

Newly-elected Prime Minister Kennedy (who is politically center-right) is grappling with an inherited financial situation like our own – overwhelming national debt. He’s here to reassure the powers-that-be on Capitol Hill that, although Ireland is teetering near bankruptcy – and under EU pressure to raise business taxes (which would affect American enterprises on the Emerald Isle) that Ireland is still a good place for American businesses. (I’m glad PM Kennedy is here, but I think he’s talking to the wrong guy about his position of not raising taxes.)

Time to get our green on!

The Chicago River is sporting an emerald hue today and the White House Fountain has gone green. In the process, a White House worker waded through the fountain adding dye and slipped. Oops! It ain’t easy bein’ green

In light of ongoing events in Japan For the stoic resiliency of the Japanese people, for the deceased, for the survivors, for all involved in humanitarian efforts – including the U.S. military, the rescuers, and especially to those heroes battling at the nuclear power plants, I’ve included this Celtic traditional hymn which symbolizes how many feel when great adversity strikes. It’s a message of exercising faith when faced with uncertainty (insert whatever belief you may have) and reflects the challenges faced by the Irish – a courageous island nation and applies to another resilient island nation – Japan. Here’s Celtic Thunder singing Heartland. It’s dedicated to Japan:


When the winds are howling, vigil keep.
Shelter us and save us from the deep!

Chorus (sung in Gaelic):
A thiarna dean tracaire (Translation: Lord have Mercy)
A chriost dean trocaire (Translation: Christ have Mercy)



Here’s another inspirational do-or-die Irish anthem that portrays the attitude we’re seeing coming from Japan – Ireland’s Call. The song also reflects our feelings about Governor Romney. (If, when you click on the video it says it’s disabled; click on ‘Watch on YouTube’.) As you listen, substitute the word Romney for Ireland because, when all is said and done, the world is better off when there is a strong America. Governor Romney will return strength to America – and he won’t apologize for it. And, that’s no blarney.


“Hearts of steel and heads unbowing, vowing never to be broken… We will fight until we can fight no more, ’til our final requiem is spoken.”


UPDATE: Here’s a documentary podcast revealing memories of a few of New York’s older Irish citizens upon first arriving in America (first aired yesterday): To Love Two Countries


Rebel Ross suggests watching this video illustrating the history of U.S. economic growth and debt – ‘St. Paddy’s Day style’.

A real St. Paddy's day fan!

Videos of St. Patrick’s Day parades can be found here.



► Jayde Wyatt