WASHINGTON: Mitt Romney's diplomatic foot-shooting spree in London last week provoked the trenchantly conservative Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer to lament: ''It's unbelievable, it's beyond human understanding, it's incomprehensible. I'm out of adjectives.''
Fox viewers will be relieved to learn Krauthammer has recovered since then and secured some more adjectives. In a column since he has described Romney's critique of Britain's handling of the Olympics as ''inexplicably dumb and gratuitous''.
As Krauthammer noted all the presumed Republican candidate had to do to ensure success in his tour of Britain, Israel and Poland was to say nothing at all. The message was in the destinations. ''I will be a better friend to our traditional allies than the President,'' read the semaphore.
Instead Mr Romney chose to speak, and in doing so gave more material to those unkind enough to catalogue his gaffes.
When he was discussing the Games on NBC last week Romney appeared to dismiss his wife's involvement. (Ann Romney owns a horse competing in dressage.)
''It's a big, exciting experience for my wife. I have to tell you, this is Ann's sport,'' he said.
''I'm not even sure which day the sport goes on. She will get the chance to see it, I will not be watching the event. I hope her horse does well.''
Not a particularly supportive position to take.
You can see why Romney might want to distance himself from dressage. It is not really a sport of the people and there are already enough tweeters tittering about Mr Romney's ''ballet dancing horses''.
Perhaps he would have been happier to associate himself with dressage had he not made that unfortunate comment on motor racing earlier this year.
Asked if he followed NASCAR he replied, ''Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans. But I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners.''
This was compounded by the time he reassured a crowd in Michigan that he supported the American auto-industry by telling them, ''I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pick-up truck. Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually.''
This is not the message his campaign is gearing up to spend US$1 billion selling.
Mr Romney's Israel visit was drawing to a close when he again provoked an angry response, telling a crowd of supporters, ''as I come here, and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognise the power of at least culture and a few other things''.
Among the ''other things'' was, he said, ''the hand of providence in selecting this place''.
Palestinian leaders responded with outrage. ''Oh my god, this man needs a lot of education,'' said Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, reported the Los Angeles Times. ''What he said about the culture is racism.''
This left Mr Romney's campaign on the back foot, explaining to journalists that he intended no slight against Palestinians, rather he was repeating an observation made in his book No Apology, based on theories raised by Jared Diamond in his bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel.
And this is doubtless true, but Mr Romney's failure to find a more diplomatic form of words while making public comments in one of the most fraught regions on earth is clearly more cause for concern than his accident-prone domestic campaigning.
Either way Mr Romney's aides would rather be discussing Mr Obama's ''you didn't build that'' comments than another Romney gaffe, perceived or otherwise.
And you can bet they'll be crossing their fingers that he can make it out of Poland without blowing off another toe.