Thursday, March 22, 2012


Some gaffes are bigger than others. The gaffes that matter only matter because they confirm and reinforce some pre-existing negative narrative or view of the candidate.

Eric Fehrnstrom's etch-a-sketch metaphor is damaging because it comes from someone who presumably knows Romney and his campaign plans well and because some conservative voters already suspect Romney's policy positions are as malleable as an etch-a-sketch screen.

The Romney campaign's damage control message has been that Fehrnstrom was referring to the campaign's need to "re-organize" and transition to a general election mode. This damage control effort is both untrue and unhelpful. It is patently untrue that that is what Fehrnstrom was talking about. He was asked about how Romney had been pulled to the right and how he would appeal to independent voters and Fehrnstrom was clearly saying that Romney would simply clear the etch-a-sketch screen of his previous policy positions and come up with new ones that match the general election electorate better.

The correct response from the Romney campaign was to treat the situation ... like an etch-a-sketch. Say that Fehrnstrom misspoke and used a poor metaphor. If Mitt Romney is so good at running organizations, why does his campaign look like amateur hour?

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