Will Etch A Sketch-y Comments Hurt Mitt Romney?
Can one shaky comment erase Romney’s elect-ability? Yesterday, Eric Fehrnstrom, Mitt Romney’s top communications advisor — who is essentially the David Axelrod of his campaign — appearing on CNN to speak about the primaries, and was asked if competing against Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum has made Romney steer so far right that he will lose the moderate, independent voters he’ll need to win the election. Ferhnstrom’s ill-thought response: “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.”
Ouch. Fehrnstrom handed a very apt metaphor to Romney detractors, and is already feeling the fallout. Etch a Sketch is currently trending on Twitter (and naturally has its own feed), and both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum staffers ran to toy stores yesterday to stock up on their new props. The Democratic party released a one-minute ad (above) reminding voters that Romney can’t shake off his record. But while the Romney team tries to recover from the controversy, we can bask in the best thing to come out of the ‘Etch A Sketch’ comment: The headlines and puns that are being used to describe the gaffe: Is the quip shaking up the Romney camp? Can they steer the political conversation back on track? Will the campaign be able to just erase the past and start over? But perhaps the best puns came from the people at Ohio Arts, maker of the popular toy, who are currently enjoying their moment in the spotlight. Fortune magazine published their statement, which follows:
“Happy to see Etch A Sketch, an American classic toy, is DRAWING attention with political candidates as a cultural icon and important piece of our society. A profound toy, highly recognized and loved by all, is now SHAKING up the national debate. Nothing is as quintessentially American as Etch A Sketch and a good old fashioned political debate.
Now, if we could actually have a political debate involving candidates using Etch A Sketches to make their points (who can draw your tax policy better?) then we’re really talking.