Gary Wisenbaker Blog
Gary Wisenbaker
Overwrought Analysis: What the Etch A Sketch Can Teach

And so now the former Prevaricator in Chief has weighed in on the supposed “Etch A Sketch” snafu.  You might recall that Romney’s campaign advisor Eric Fehrnstrom said that the primary campaign would be different from the general election campaign and used the analogy of “shaking the Etch A Sketch” rather than, say, cleaning the black board.


Primary campaigns are inherently different from a general election campaign.  The audience is different.  The issues become more broad and are framed accordingly.  So, obviously , the strategy changes.  For example, in a primary campaign your opponent’s weaknesses are a major issue–poof!–that’s gone in a general campaign.  It is a non sequitur to suggest that positions on issues change with a strategy shift.. 

There’s simply no gaffe here. It is manufactured.

In fact, one of Romney’s earlier criticisms was that he was running a general campaign rather than a primary campaign.  He changed that in Florida and grabbed the momentum. He barely lost Iowa, squeaked by in New Hampshire and was brutalized in South Carolina.  He adapted.

His campaign did exactly what it was supposed to do.  Is that considered a “flip flop”?  Certainly not.

The fact that the Democrats would bring out Clinton to address the issue is telling.  You might recall that they did the same thing at the beginning of the Obama administration when Clinton concluded a press conference on the Great Stimulus Act while Obama scurried off to his wife.  You bring Clinton in when the going gets tough....and its real tough for the Freshman President from Illinois right now.

Clinton got at least a couple of things right: “There era of big government is over”; “This is the end of welfare as we know it”.  But here he’s wrong.  And so is the shortsighted national media, including FOX News (and don’t you get a little tired of them interviewing themselves?)  for fanning an imaginary issue.  Must have been a slow news day when Fehrnstrom made the remark.

Everybody, including Sean Hannity, who’s gotten just as bad as Bill O’Reilly (both of whom I personally like) when it comes to interrupting his own guests, just needs to settle down, take a deep breath, maybe a Prosac, and let the GOP nominating process wind its way through.

The Republic will not be won or lost in the GOP primary.  That can only happen in the general election.  And what with prevaricators, junior presidents and an hysteric media on the watch, it may well happen.

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