The Etch-a-Sketch

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 21 2012 10:39 AM

The Etch-a-Sketch

With this quote, Romney guru Eric Fehrnstrom has scored a cleaner hit on his candidate than Rick Santorum ever has. ThinkProgress captures it and adds my beloved "it's unclear if..." locution, the most sarcastic sort of political analysis.

Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all of over again.
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Aspects of this analogy make sense to me. An older etch-a-sketch has little lines and remainders from older sketches embedded in it, stuff you can't make people forget. To a large extent, Romney will be able to campaign on new positions when he makes it out of the primary. He's winning voters who want an electable candidate, not a Barry Goldwater clone, so, yes, there's an expectation that he'll move on from opposing the auto bailout, and agreeing with the Blunt amendment. But you don't need to say this! It's realpolitik, which means you should never, ever reveal it to voters.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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