The first stop — Britain — in Mitt Romney's foreign tour certainly is starting out rockier than nearly anyone expected.
First there was the kerfuffle over remarks, attributed by a British newspaper to an anonymous campaign adviser, that Romney understood the shared "Anglo-Saxon heritage" between the U.S. and Britain in a way President Obama didn't. Those comments were viewed as racist by some and were disowned by the Romney campaign.
Crony capitalism is a term very much in vogue because of Mitt Romney's accusations that President Obama has engaged in the practice, allegedly rewarding the business interests of political supporters with federal taxpayer dollars.
The thermometer keeps inching upwards, though its hard to tell if its measuring heat or the rhetoric coming out of Washington. The recent Supreme Court decisions have done little to quell the debates on either side, and with a looming election in five months, no one seems interested in backing down.
The latest variant of the presidential election parlor game we call "What Were They Thinking?" asks why Mitt Romney chose this moment in his quest for the White House to become involved with Donald Trump.
Here's a contrarian guess by way of an answer: populism. Bear with me for a moment of explanation.