Daily Archives: September 18, 2012

It has been a fun ride for journalists covering Mitt Romney’s US presidential campaign. They have been treated to a smorgasbord of gaffes from the Republican nominee – about-turns on policy, questionable facts to base his arguments on, ill-received comments such as his response to the killing of the US ambassador to Libya last week or his scepticism over London’s readiness to host the Olympics. 

Here’s what got us chatting at our desks this morning:

Anti-Japan protesters outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing. Photo AP

In the midst of the anti-Japanese sound and fury that has erupted
across China in the last week there is also a quiet but clearly discernible undertone not heard in previous similar outbursts – call it the ballad of the Chinese middle class.

For decades, anti-foreign protests have been the only ones the Communist Party has condoned, periodically whipping them up through provocative state media coverage and even providing logistical support. 

Tony Barber

Esperanza Aguirre

Will the Spanish government request a European bailout? Will Catalonia secede from Spain? These are burning questions, but on Tuesday morning a different political topic is on the minds of many madrileños.

Esperanza Aguirre, the head of the Madrid regional government and one of the most influential figures in the Partido Popular, Spain’s ruling centre-right party, abruptly resigned from her post on Monday. She said she was withdrawing from the front line of politics “for personal reasons”. 

Edward Luce

Another late night in Boston, another Romney fire-fighting operation. “God Bless Half of America,” said one of the milder tweets on the audio of Mitt Romney complaining about the 47 per cent of Americans who “do not pay taxes”.

Viral Romney disaster moments are beginning to crop up with almost metronomic regularity. 

By Gideon Rachman

Turmoil in the Middle East looked like a gift to the presidential campaign of Mitt Romney. With unseemly eagerness, the Republican candidate unwrapped his present – blaming the Obama administration for encouraging Islamist militancy. Conservative commentators chimed in. On Fox Television, Charles Krauthammer announced: “What we are seeing on the screen is the meltdown, collapse of the Obama policy on the Muslim world.”