Posts Tagged ‘Etch-a-Sketch’

Reader Submission: Romney Vetting Video

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

What Will He Say Next?

This is a nifty little video that presents Mitt Romney various varying positions on a number of issues.  This should give you a real, solid understanding of why “Etch-a-Sketch” remains a serious issue, and why we cannot afford a candidate who flips and flops, and will effectively sell us out once he has the nomination.  Mitt Romney has suffered some setbacks because of his constant changing of positions, and worse, his constant walking-back of the walk-backs.  Conservatives don’t trust him, and while they may support him in the fall out of a sense of desperation over Obama, what’s clear is that the “Etch-a-Sketch” theme has hurt him.  Here, a video that compares his various statements on issues, contradicting himself endlessly, demonstrates why conservatives are worried about Mitt.  There’s plenty of evidence they should be worried, as Romney’s Communications Director likened the upcoming general campaign to the child’s toy.

Here’s the video:


Effective, and with interesting musical accompaniment.

For Those Who Believed “Etch-a-Sketch” Wouldn’t Matter…

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Sure, It won't matter...

The Democrats have other ideas, and the sad part is that predictably, they’re going to use it dishonestly, but nevertheless, they will use the Fehrnstrom “Etch-a-Sketch” remark to attack Mitt Romney.  This is why we should never permit this guy to be the GOP’s nominee:  He’s another one who claims to be conservative, but isn’t, and that’s not going to stop the left from trying to beat him up for his so-called conservatism, even though he isn’t one, and won’t remotely govern or campaign like one.   Yes, of course the Democrats are lying, but that won’t stop them.  It never does.  More, Romney gives some credence to their claims because he is an “Etch-a-Sketch” candidate, although not in the manner the Democrats will pretend.  The Democrats are pretending he’s a conservative who will move left for the general election, but what you and I know is that he’s a moderate who has moved right for the primaries.

Here’s their video:


This is the problem:  Mitt Romney will have to do what to combat this ad? He’ll say: “I’m not a conservative,” or he’ll respond with some half-hearted, tepid defense of conservatism, but because he doesn’t really understand conservatism, he’ll fail.  He will be forced into a position of abandoning conservatism in some manner, and it will show the voters that he is “etch-a-sketch,” whatever they think of his relative position on the ideological spectrum.  The voters who will be the intended audience for this are moderates and independents anyway, so you can imagine the effect.

We’re in for a beating if we don’t dump this guy soon.


Ron Paul Doesn’t Like “Etch-a-Sketch:” Why Not?

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Will Paul Send Romney the Bill?

It’s hard to understand why a politician would run an ad that seeks to minimize the story that is doing the most political damage to one’s chief rival.  In my view, to hit Gingrich and Santorum while leaving Romney untouched hints at another motive.  Ron Paul’s camp is running an ad slamming the two non-Romneys for their focus on Romney Communications Direct Eric Fehrnstrom’s “Etch-a-Sketch” remark.  He apparently thinks it’s ridiculous to be focused on what he considers a sideshow, but I wonder if that’s his real objective.   After all, he’s been rather friendly with Mitt Romney, and at times it has seemed he was working on coordinating his attacks on the others with the former Massachusetts governor, who one would think would receive the most scrutiny from the Paul camp, since Romney is clearly the most liberal of the four.

Here’s the ad:


Not once in this ad are viewers informed about the nature of the controversy, although you do get a clip of Fehrnstrom’s remark,  but what viewers receive is a series of repeated iterations of Gingrich, Santorum, and media saying “Etch-a-Sketch,”  portrayed in such a way as to mock the subject.  Romney’s been playing damage control ever since his Communications Director’s remarks, and they’ve tried several approaches to change the subject.  I suppose if all else fails, you let Ron Paul’s campaign do your dirty-work, and try to downplay the meaning and impact of the “Etch-a-Sketch” remark.  Of course, this could be Paul’s way of trying to get a little attention, but whatever his motive, I think it’s dishonest to downplay the significance.  After all, if the Romney campaign will bear a resemblance to an etch-a-sketch if he secures the nomination, one would think this is information all of the other candidates would want voters to possess.  To me, this looks like an attempt to minimize the damage to Romney.  Is this part of a collusion between Paul and Romney?  Nobody’s certain but it’s odd that Paul’s campaign would posit a thesis that reduces the damage to an opponent.


While “Etch-a-Sketch” Is Sinking In, Romney Is Sinking

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

How Much Damage?

As conservatives and Tea Party types begin to realize the full meaning of “Etch-a-Sketch,” the first gaps in Romney’s armor have begun to show.  Wrapped in a suit of campaign cash and superPAC support, Mitt Romney has been able to fend off almost every charge against him by virtue of a strategy of non-response combined with a campaign of big money advertising hammering his opponents.  At last report, he was outspending Rick Santorum in Wisconsin by a ratio of 50:1, but the problem for Mitt Romney is that all the money in the world won’t save him from the “Etch-a-Sketch” remarks of his Communications Director Eric Fehrnstrom on CNN.  That video has gone viral, and in its wake is a roiling sea of doubt: Is Mitt Romney faking his way through the primary season as a conservative?  Romney’s camp is quietly scrambling to undo the damage, but this horse in this story has escaped the barn.

Naturally, the first option for the Romney campaign was to redirect the controversy onto somebody else.  Rick Santorum’s remarks served as the outrage to which the Romney camp could point in desperate distraction mode, and for a time, it seemed that the theme would gain traction as a few people decided to carry his water, but the problem is that pointing at Santorum’s remark does nothing to blunt the impact of Fehrnstrom’s remarks.  After the mini-Jihad against Rick Santorum began to fade, the question voters still faced about Romney hadn’t been shaken out of existence in the Romney campaign’s etch-a-sketch play.  This has been the object of the Romney campaign all along, and while some may have missed the point at first, they’re now coming back to it, because if the truth is told about this fiasco, the problem for Romney is that the minds of conservative voters aren’t like Etch-a-Sketch drawings after all, and as annoyed as some may have been with Rick Santorum’s remarks, it’s nevertheless true that the impetus for those remarks has not been erased.

Romney’s negatives have been on a steady climb for some time, and this is beginning to present a real problem.  This is the reason the GOP establishment is on a full-court press to stop the conversation, and pull the plug on further debate.  This week, they played their big cards in this deal, throwing the Jeb Bush endorsement out along with a statement that it’s time to consolidate and coalesce, and while he didn’t fully endorse Mitt Romney, even Jim DeMint(R-SC) began to sound the tones of bringing this campaign season to a speedier conclusion.  The party simply does not want the primary debate to continue, because with each passing day, despite gaining a few more delegates, Mitt Romney has begun to take on the appearance of a candidate without the conservative horsepower to bring along the base.  If he can’t do that, he can’t win in November, and the GOP establishment is acutely aware that while he may get the nomination, his prospects for victory are slipping away.  Their nightmare scenario is a brokered convention, because they may not have enough delegates on the first vote to bring this to a speedy conclusion, and if they don’t get them then, it is entirely possible they never will.

What Romney had needed this week was a knock-out punch on Santorum, but instead, what they managed was a self-inflicted wound that they rushed out to cover up with a counter-attack on Santorum.  In the waning of the furor over Santorum’s indelicate remarks, the problem remains that all the talk about Santorum has done nothing to reduce the effect of the “Etch-a-Sketch” problem, and now even Charles Krauthammer has weighed in on the damage:


The fact that Krauthammer sees the damage plainly should tell you about the impact the “Etch-a-Sketch” remark is having, but you may also notice that Krauthammer places the blame on Romney’s staff.  While it’s true that Fehrnstrom’s description of the campaign as like an “Etch-a-sketch” was in poor form, it’s really not Fehrnstrom’s fault.  What Krauthammer seems to lament most is not the facts that underlie the remark, but that the remark slipped out there in plain view.

In this sense, Krauthammer misses the real point of this episode, and it’s one the conservative base of the party isn’t missing: Mitt Romney evinces no solid core of beliefs, and his half-decade long campaign for the Presidency is built on many instances of shaking up the Etch-a-Mitt. Romney’s positions on various issues have changed, re-shaped, “perfected,” and re-drawn so many times that conservative voters have suspected this all along, and all Fehrnstrom’s comments to CNN did was to solidify that impression, and it’s not so likely to be erased by a gentle or even vigorous shaking.  Krauthammer’s real disappointment here is that Fehrnstrom spilled the beans, but he doesn’t seem too concerned about the facts that support the disclosure.

This should offer you a bit of insight into the mechanics of Washington DC.  Krauthammer is more concerned with the impression it leaves than the fact that it seems to be true.  This is how everything in Washington is viewed:  Through the sorry, distorting lens of politics. It’s not a question of what an event means in fact, but what impression it will make.  It’s not a matter of what is truth, but instead  merely a concern over how a thing is perceived.  Krauthammer isn’t exercised over the fact that Romney may indeed “Etch-a-Sketch” his campaign appeal if he obtains the nomination, but that his Communications Director would openly admit this is a mortal sin.   You see, the reason he isn’t bothered by the former, but is so disappointed in the latter is because he’s part of the crowd that knows this is what Romney’s about, and while they have worked to conceal it from the eyes of voters, Fehrnstrom’s little disclosure made plain what they have toiled to keep secret, or at least tamped-down.

This is a sort of admission that I wonder if Krauthammer won’t later regret, because it exemplifies what’s wrong inside the Beltway, not just in government, but in the sickening media that services it.  They don’t exist to inform you or keep you abreast of critical issues so much as to manage your opinions and tell you what should be important.  What Fehrnstrom has inadvertently managed to do is open a window not only into the Romney campaign, but also into the diseased mindset of Washington DC on both in front and behind the camera.  Krauthammer’s remarks prove it, but it may be too late.  If conservatives ignore this, Romney might  be able to pull off the nomination in spite of it all.  On the other hand, as Krauthammer’s commentary also demonstrates, it seems that conservatives have finally seen the cracks in the Romney facade, and there may be no filling them any longer.



Suicide By Romneycare, or Why Etch-a-Sketch Matters

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Etch-a-Sketch Repeal?

I’ve warned conservatives for nearly as long as I’ve been blogging that to nominate Mitt Romney is to commit an act of electoral suicide.  I’ve told you that when it comes time to run the general election campaign, Romney will abandon all of this talk about repealing Obamacare because he will be toast on this issue.   Barack Obama knows this too, and it’s the reason every Democrat in Washington wants to see a Romney candidacy.  For once, we got a little insight into the coming Romney betrayals, when his longtime Campaign adviser and Communications Director Eric Fehrnstrom on Wednesday likened Mitt Romney to an etch-a-sketch in terms of their ability to re-shape the campaign once the general election campaign begins.  This was an admission of what would really happen to all of his talk about being a conservative should Mitt Romney secure the party’s nomination.

I’ve urged the other candidates to hammer Romney on this point, and to their credit, they have, but without debates lately, they’re not making much headway in the media that largely favors Mitt Romney, so the point isn’t being made.  Consider it another gift, because now we get a little help from an unlikely source, who made mention of this issue, although not by name.  The source?  Barack Obama.

You see, he was being interviewed by Kai Ryssdal, for the Marketplace Morning Report for Thursday, March 22, 2012, and he was asked about his health-care reform, and I want you to pay close attention to what Obama implies about a Republican candidate, and says of a particular state:

Alternative content

From CNN, referencing the same interview, with a few pull-quotes, and a few explanations of context for Obama’s remarks:

“We designed a program that actually previously had support of Republicans, including the person who may end up being the Republican standard bearer and is now pretending like he came up with something different,” the president said.

The Massachusetts plan served as a model for the Affordable Care Act, signed two years ago Friday. Romney, the state’s former governor, has since said the legislation was the correct course for his state but not meant as a model for a national overhaul. But the plan has proved a focal point of criticism aimed at the GOP frontrunner.

In Thursday’s interview, Obama said Republican opposition to the plan, including the Supreme Court challenge, is politically motivated.

He said state governors will have a difficult time explaining resistance to the law to their constituents.

“When people see that in fact it works, it makes sense – as it’s, by the way, working in Massachusetts – then I think a whole bunch of folks will say ‘Why aren’t we trying it as well?'” Obama said.

It’s important to understand the meaning of this audio clip in context of the “Etch-a-sketch” comment. Twice, in less than two minutes, Obama goes out of his way to mention a unnamed candidate(Romney) and the state he governed (Massachusetts) as extensions of his healthcare law.  Let that soak in, and realize that the one issue on which more than 60% of Americans agree, that Obamacare must be repealed, Mitt Romney will be completely neutralized in a general campaign.

Therefore, I believe that the Etch-a-Sketch is all about dumping his promise to seek the repeal of Obama-care.  He can’t.  He will be absolutely wrecked by Barack Obama and his campaign if he even tries that approach.  Romney is the one candidate among all of the Republicans who is least able to make the case against Obamacare, and it is the one issue that has united the American people against Obama like no other.  I cannot see how the Republicans defeat Obama without this issue, and yet if Mitt Romney is the nominee, this is precisely what he will be forced to do.

That “Etch-a-Sketch?”  Yes, that got to be shaken as soon as Romney captures the nomination, and when it is, part of the picture that will be erased will be the promise to repeal Obamacare.  Mitt Romney is being dishonest in this respect.  It will ruin him if he tries, and without it, he cannot win.  I think most of the readers of this blog have understood this all along, but there’s a segment of the conservative base that doesn’t follow the inside politics, and may not yet understand this. There is no candidate who will fare more poorly against Barack Obama than Mitt Romney.  All of this talk about his electability is based on a very generic sense conveyed by the media, but does not represent what the voters will see in the last six to eight weeks of the campaign.  This is just a sample of how Romney will be neutered on the Obama-care issue, and it’s going to mean Romney will simply drop all of the repeal talk once he has your  nomination.  Let me be blunt:

Nominate the Etch-a-Sketch, and you get four more years of Barack Obama.

The End.

Newt Knocks It Out of the Park on the Etch-a-Sketch Candidate

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Re-Drawing Romney

I wasn’t surprised to see Newt Gingrich pick up this theme, but that he did it so effectively and on such short notice is really just another testament to his mental horsepower.  The former House Speaker appeared at a campaign stop just an hour or so after Eric Fehrnstrom made his remarks to CNN, in which he likened Mitt Romney to an Etch-a-Sketch.  Call it the gaffe of the day, or the confession of the year, but either way, Gingrich was quick to seize upon the moment and throw it in Romney’s face.  After a day-long media mocking, Romney came out Wednesday evening in a tepid response designed to blunt the criticisms, but Newt Gingrich captured the moment in explaining what this episode should strike a cautious note for conservatives.  Here’s the video:


Fehrnstrom really threw his boss into a shark tank with this one.  He’s been a Romney adviser since Romney took office as Governor of Massachusetts.  What this episode demonstrates clearly is that Romney is no conservative, and once he secures the Republican nomination, he is going to move to the left dramatically.  Gingrich is right to make sport of Romney over this issue, because in fact, Romney has campaigned against both Gingrich and Santorum as though he was the more conservative of the three.  I think this episode permits us to firmly dispense with that line of nonsense.  Kudos to Newt Gingrich for not dropping the issue so easily.

The Gumby Candidacy: Why I’m Ecstatic Over Fehrnstrom’s Remarks

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

How Plastic Can He Get?

When Romney Communications Director Eric Fehrnstrom placed both feet squarely in his mouth on Wednesday in an interview with CNN, I was thrilled.  Some may wonder why this would be, since all Fehrnstrom did was to confirm what most of you have known from the outset:  Mitt Romney is Gumby.  He is able and willing to flex and fold and spindle and mutilate all of his previous positions according to the political expediency of the moment.  Honestly, I am ecstatic not merely because it validates what I’ve been telling you about Romney all along, but that the voters in the GOP will now be armed with the reality about who this man is and how he operates.  Fehrnstrom, who’s worked with Mitt Romney since he was Governor of Massachusetts, is as good a source as any. Conservatives should consider this a gift, because it finally gives us the evidence we need to show Mitt Romney for what he really is:  A plastic, flexible, morally indecisive man who believes whatever the polls say he ought to believe to garner the most political support.

Let’s consider this carefully, together with the other news of the day, and recognize what Romney really is.  Consider what Mark Levin offered on his radio show Wednesday evening, when he pointed out that Fehrnstrom never even attempted to refute the assertion of the questioner.  Instead, it was accepted as fact that he is indeed tacking right for the primaries.  If he’s tacking right, where he must have originated is somewhere to the left.  That’s simple logic, and the fact that Fehrnstrom never challenged it tells us that it’s true.  I would love for one Romney supporter to offer a single refutation of that premise that makes any sense, but I don’t expect it now, or later.

Romney has also said he was in favor of TARP, and then that he wasn’t so sure, but now he’s clearly back on the TARP bandwagon, by saying today on the campaign trail that George W. Bush and Hank Paulson saved the economy.  He’s talking about TARP!  He said the following:

“I keep hearing the president say he’s responsible for keeping the country out of a Great Depression,” Romney said at a town hall in Arbutus, Maryland. “No, no, no, that was President George W. Bush and [then-Treasury Secretary] Hank Paulson.”

Consider this when you listen to him tell you how he is conservative, but that the other candidates are not.  Given what we’ve learned about his flexible ideology, how long will it before he tells us Obama-care wasn’t such a bad idea?  If you wonder why Republican turn-out is low in so many states, it’s because Romney’s negative campaigning has turned off conservatives.  He’s doing it intentionally because the record clearly demonstrates conservatives don’t like the negative campaigning, particularly Tea Party types.  Romney’s aim is to discourage them to keep them from polling for anybody else.

The Romney campaign is in bunker mode, and this slip-up by Fehrnstrom is likely to do Romney substantial damage.   Fehrnstrom likened Romney to an Etch-a-Sketch, but I think “Gumby” is more appropriate:  He’s easily molded and reshaped and he has the philosophical firmness of an un-fired clay pot.  The worst part of all of this is knowing that he’s trying to get away with it.  He is trying to slide by while never really having committed to much, and too many conservatives, in angst over Obama, are far too willing to surrender to Mitt Romney.  Some may appreciate the potential merits of a Gumby president, but I think what Fehrnstrom’s admission speaks to is a sort of dishonesty on the part of Mitt Romney that is the sort of duplicity that conservatives deplore.

Mold him, shape him, sculpt him and then start over with a squish.  Mitt Romney is no conservative, and we should never nominate him, much less elect him president. He rails against Gingrich and Santorum, but by any objective measure, both men have a record of governing as far more conservative than Mitt Romney as governor the state of Massachusetts.  A vote for Romney may begin as a vote against Barack Obama, but he’s not likely to maintain the most important distinctions beyond the convention.  For conservatives, it is time to get off your butts and be heard in these primaries, selecting anybody but Romney since he’s the leftists’ alternative to Barack Obama.  Time to get up and oppose this guy before he continues the wreckage of the conservatives in our party and conservatism in general.  You now know who this man really is, thanks to Eric Fehrnstrom, and it’s time we exploit this gift to knock out Romney, or at least tamp him down.  I’m not happy he is this way, but I’m thrilled that it’s finally been admitted by one of his own people, albeit inadvertently.