Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Another reason that Eric Fehrnstrom's Etch A Sketch comment won't hurt Romney (in addition to the ones I spelled out here) is this: Fehrnstrom, by saying that Romney will just swap some new rhetoric for his current rhetoric, is telling us that Romney agrees with us that what we've heard from the GOP in the first three months of this year is loony and extreme. Yeah, those people are wackos and losers! I'm not running with that crowd anymore! It's sort of like a Sister Souljah moment, except without any of the uncomfortable actually-criticizing-someone-on-your-side-directly stuff. (And never mind the fact that Romney did more than his share of the crazy talk.)

Also, after we get past the current wave of mockery, we're going to get the think pieces from mainstream pundits that say Romney was displaying actual gumption by insulting the crazies this way (never mind that he didn't do it himself, and even his surrogate didn't have the guts to do it directly). This will be described as a bird-flip done out of principle, not as a gaffe or a calculated move made out of a deep cynicism. The pundits will fall for it.


AND FINALLY: Romney didn't say it -- it was uttered by a guy 0.00001% of the electorate has heard of. And it's a remark about campaigning, not about, you know, life. "I like to fire people" is something people can relate to (in a negative way.) The same with talk about owning multiple Cadillacs. This is about the campaign, and is much less meaningful to people who aren't particularly interested in the campaign than it is to people like us.

1 comment:

Arturo Ui said...

"(And never mind the fact that Romney did more than his share of the crazy talk.)"

And that one line, Steve, explains why this WILL end up sticking to Romney. The Obamas aren't going to play clips of Fehrnstrom's Etch-a-Sketch gaffe. They're going to play clips of Romney, saying one crazy thing after another, and another, and another. And Romney is eventually going to get asked about those crazy things by Obama in a debate. And/or by a moderator in a debate. And his answer, no matter how well crafted, is going to sound like the biggest pile of bullshit anyone in America has ever heard. He can bob and weave with the best of them, but he is a genuinely insincere person, and everyone will get that immediately.