When Eric Fehrnstrom, the communications director for Mitt Romney's campaign, appeared on CNN this morning, he couldn't possibly have predicted how much trouble he was about to cause for his boss.
It was such a simple question: is there a concern Romney is being pushed so far to the right that he'll struggle with mainstream voters in the fall? The smart response would have been, "Romney is a mainstream conservative, and there's nothing extreme about his vision for America."
Instead Fehrnstrom said, "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."
It's the kind of line that reinforces the worst possible fears about Mitt Romney's entire candidacy -- he doesn't even care what he's saying to voters right now, because it'll all be thrown out the window in a few months anyway.
Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich aren't great candidates, but wouldn't you know it, both are campaigning with an Etch A Sketch this afternoon. While their staffers ran to the nearest toy store, the Democratic National Committee was putting together this new video:
American Bridge put together a video of its own.
Tabitha Hale tweeted this afternoon, "This Etch-A-Sketch situation is not going to go away... maybe ever."
I'm very much inclined to agree. The knock on Romney since Day One has been that he's a shallow, unprincipled politician, willing to say anything to anyone to win. "Etch A Sketch" is so perfect a metaphor, it's extraordinary that it came from the candidate's own communications director.