David Frum

07.26.12

Mitt Romney, Anglo-Saxon

Jim Geraghty sums up the "Anglo-Saxon" controversy best. Not only do Romney's most important foreign-policy advisers come from a huge range of backgrounds, many distinctly non-WASP, but …

A lot of people think of themselves as “advisers” and claim that title, and sometimes folks with little or no real influence or connection on the campaign claim to be well-plugged in.

If this is Stu Stevens or Beth Myers saying this, it’s a bigger deal than if it’s 23-year-old intern Irving Schmidlap, whose primary duty is refilling the water cooler. Even if somebody said it, it doesn’t necessarily mean anyone on Team Romney actually listens to this person.

Secondly, the British press has a reputation for sometimes being not quite… reliable sources when it comes to eye-catching quotes from anonymous sources. The Telegraph is a little better than the others, but… Matt Lewis recalls the Telegraph retracting a story about Michelle Obama spending $50,000 on Agent Provocateur lingerie back in February. So if something sounds a little too good to be true in the British press… there’s a good chance it is.

There's one more reason to doubt the authenticity of the quote, at least insofar as it comes from somebody close to the candidate: It's well-known that Obama's relationship with David Cameron is the least frigid of his relationships with European leaders. If Romney had been en route to visit Angela Merkel, that would have been a very different story…