What a week it was to have been for Mitt Romney.
But what a week it wasn’t.
Poised to triumphantly clinch the Republican nomination for president, Romney instead was upstaged Tuesday by supporter Donald Trump’s new birther-on-steroids shtick that stole the headlines and the candidate’s big moment.
Then on Thursday, ready to embarrass President Obama by holding a “surprise” press event Thursday in front of Solyndra, the Obama-touted California solar energy company that failed after getting a $535 million government loan guarantee, Romney was upstaged yet again.
This time, by not one, but two events the cable news channels carried live during and after his photo-op event: Obama hosting former President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush for the unveiling of their official portraits – a good humored affair that was the first time the former president has been back in the White House since his term ended.
And then? Wall-to-wall coverage of a potential verdict in the John Edwards’ political corruption trial.
The news Thursday was also filled with reports that a federal appeals court had found unconstitutional the Defense of Marriage Act that bars same sex marriage. (We won’t even go into the continuing media obsession with the Miami face-eating attacker, or the search for the Canadian porn star who allegedly mailed a victim’s body parts to politicians. No, we won’t even go into it.)
Romney and his team can’t grouse too much about the Trump tempest. The candidate has not repudiated the reality star and his questions about Obama’s birthplace.
Our colleague Ron Elving weighed in smartly this week on why Romney has not ditched Trump,
But the messaging stars just seemed out of alignment Thursday for Romney, who this week also snagged an endorsement from former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Consider the headlines that dominated his week:
“Trump, Romney’s surrogate, goes on “birther” offensive,” The Hill
“Trump overshadows Romney with “birther” talk,” Bloomberg Businessweek
“Romney appears with “birther” Trump,” UPI.com
“Obama campaign goes after Romney for Trump connection; should Romney speak out against birther issue?” Fox
There was this, “Romney Campaigns at Failed Solyndra Factory,” in the New York Times politics blog, and similar headlines elsewhere Thursday.
But there was also this: “Romney’s Solyndra Show=Poor Political Theater” on Bay Area’s NBC station’s website, which detailed the secrecy surrounding the Solyndra events, and its timing – starting at the moment former President George W. Bush began to speak at the portrait unveiling.
“Opinion,” it read: “A campaign trump card may have been misplayed.”
Pun, we imagine, intended.