If you missed the Romney Campaign Etch A Sketch gaffe yesterday, here’s what happened: CNN’s John Fugelsang asked Romney’s communications director Eric Fehrnstrom if campaigning against Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum would “force the governor to tack so far to the right it would hurt him with moderate voters in the general election?”
In a moment of tone deafness—the type usually reserved for the candidate himself—Fehrnstrom breezily responded, “I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes.” He then added, “It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.” In one breath, Fehrnstrom rather articulately depicted the exact trouble Romney’s with image, and in doing so inadvertently voiced a widespread criticism of politicians as a breed.
Naturally, Gingrich and Santorum lept at the opportunity to draw more attention to Romney’s sordid past of switching parties and flip-flopping on issues like healthcare, abortion, gay rights and a host of others.
But meanwhile, Etch A Sketch’s mother company Ohio Art and their shareholders leaned back and grinned. In the span of just a few short hours the company’s stock price lept from $4 to $12.50 a share.
In a way, the massive spike in share price almost furthers Fehrnstrom’s metaphor. Not only did he draw attention to Romney’s history of flip-flopping, he reminded us of another of the candidate’s best-known qualities: his wealth.
Now if they could just spin it by promising he’d use his golden touch to turn around America’s economy, maybe Team Romney could get back on track?