Sport and politics. It’s an easy business, a marriage made in diplomatic heaven. That’s why politicians usually love sport; it’s safe ground. All they have to do is smile, wave, enthuse and be the good diplomat. Get behind their team and be gracious to the other team. It’s a win-win, slam-dunk, home-run, proverbial back of the net opportunity.
And if they happen to be visiting the nation that’s hosting the biggest sporting event on the planet, there’s no need to complicate matters—just keep it simple. Be nice and positive. In fact, it’s hard to score an own goal.
In fact, imagine how grateful those officials in Glasgow must be—the ones that used the South Korean flag instead of the North Korean flag before the North Koreans played Colombia. They must be writing letters of thanks to Mitt for taking the spotlight off them. As a guest of the games he managed to cause offense to the host nation in full view of the eyes of the world and acute embarrassment to his own.
London might or might not be ready to host the 30th Olympic Games—we’ll see—but in my opinion based on this performance Mitt’s not ready to be the 45th American president.
Philip Davies is president, EMEA for Siegel+Gale.