Turns out Mitt wasn't the first Romney to show off his foot-in-mouth skills. His father George, running for president in 1967, said officials had put him through “the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get” when he toured Vietnam. "And it was painful for Mitt" to see dad take criticism, writes Maureen Dowd in the New York Times. So he built "his own sterile biosphere, shaping his temperament and political career to make sure he never stumbled into such a costly moment of candor."
Yet he fumbled famously last week when talking about the London Olympics, and took heavy political fire for it. So is foot-in-mouth disease just in his blood? "What drives his gaffes is his desire to preen over accomplishments," explains Dowd. Yes, he ran a heck of a Salt Lake City Olympics, and he's made $250 million, and he built a car elevator—so we have to hear about it. "In the Mitt-sphere ... Romney’s image of himself as wise, caring, smart and capable is relentlessly reinforced. That leaves him constantly surprised that other people don’t love what he is saying." Click for the full column. (Read more Mitt Romney 2012 stories.)