Getting Laughable

Senior Romney adviser Ed Gillespie said on CNN this morning — with a straight face — that Mitt “retired retroactively” from Bain.  How weaselly can you get?

Mitt doesn’t need Rahm Emmanuel to send him a dead fish — his campaign is starting to stink of its own accord.


Mitt’s Favorables Up

A new CNN poll shows that Mitt’s favorable/unfavorable rating is now 44/43, still low, but about 10 points better than it’s been.  President Obama’s favorables/unfavorables are 56/42.

Moreover, 53% said they will give Mitt a fresh look, a clear Etch a Sketch as it were, with the primaries over.  43% said they know all they need to know about him.  I’m in that 43%.

Don’t Be Fooled By “Moderate Mitt”

From “The Sweet Spot,” Bill Keller, NYT:

“My hunch is that Romney will manage to shake off most of his extremist accouterments, because they never seemed to fit him.  It is true that if elected…Romney would be obliged to tithe generously to the right, by choosing Supreme Court nominees of the Scalia/Thomas persuasion, for example, and by populating regulatory agencies with polluters and plunderers.  But those concerns tend not to alter election outcomes.  Even with pro-Obama super PACs painting him as a mean-spirited zealot, Romney should be able to recapture the old campaign aura of a moderate Mr. Fixit.”

I agree with Keller that “those concerns” don’t affect elections, but they should!

So Mitt is re-setting the Etch a Sketch for the general to run from the base and then will re-set it again if elected to embrace them.  They’ll keep him on a short leash under the threat of getting primaried for 2016.  They already don’t like or trust him, so he’d better behave.

Santorum Endorses Obama Over Mitt

Campaigning in Texas, Rick Santorum said, “You win by giving people a choice.  You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who’s just going to be a little different than the person in there.  If they’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk of what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future.”  Emphasis added.

Another Obama ad just got made.

The Real Etch a Sketch Story Is Mitt’s Lie in Response to It

What’s even worse than Eric Fehrnstrom’s Etch a Sketch comment is Mitt’s lie in response to the storm that erupted.

The question Fehrnstrom, who is a smarmy little creep, answered on CNN was clearly about policy positions — whether Mitt had been forced to move too far to the right on the issues during the primaries.

But Mitt lied to say that Fehrnstrom wasn’t talking about starting over on policy in a general election, but purely on campaign organization. “The nature of the campaign itself, in terms of staff, funding, the states we would go to, will be different than today.”  But Fehnstrom wasn’t asked about and wasn’t talking about campaign structure and scheduling.  He was clearly talking about softening some primary stances so they don’t lose groups like women and Hispanics as dramatically as they would if the general election were today.

Rather than face the controversy squarely, Mitt lied to say it was about something else entirely and try to make it go away.  To me, he just made it worse, and lowered my already low opinion of him

There are many things I hate about Mitt.  But I especially hate the fact that he thinks we’re stupid.  He lies all the time (as when he said over and over that President Obama made the economy worse, and then denied saying it; as when he denied saying that he wanted Romneycare’s individual mandates to be part of a national program) and thinks we’re so dumb that he can get away with it.

Because he knows he’s richer than almost all of us, he somehow thinks that makes him smarter as well.

I hope he learns on November 6 that he’s not as clever as he thinks he is, and that we are much smarter than he gives us credit for.

More on Mitt’s Etch A Sketch

“Fehrnstrom’s comments were correct in a general sense, but they were a blunder in a bigger strategic sense.  Any time you step on the message of big victory in a big state [Illinois] and simultaneously the endorsement of one of the most important political figures in your party [Jeb Bush], you know you have messed up.”  John Feehery, “Etch A Sketch,” The Hill.

I’m sure Eric Fehrnstrom wishes he could shake that CNN interview and erase it.

Everyone knows that you move to the center in the general, so Fehnstrom wasn’t really making news.  His problem was that the guy he works for has been such a shameless flip flopper and has no core convictions.  If a Santorum adviser had made the exact same comment, it wouldn’t have caused such a stir.

It’s not just what you say, it’s who you are.  Every comment is judged by the overarching narrative, and this is where Mitt’s narrative is especially weak and problematic.

Mitt’s Campaign Steps on Big Jeb Bush Endorsement

On a day that should have been all about celebrating their double-digit Illinois win and finally getting Jeb Bush’s endorsement, Mitt’s campaign instead has everyone focused on that humble, low-tech toy the Etch-a-Sketch.

Mitt’s senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom went on CNN and, in reply to a question about whether moves to the right during the primary would hurt Mitt in the general, said this:

“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 we start all over again.”

Of course, this has been Mitt’s problem his whole career, that he’s the blank screen who’s happy to put up a new picture just long enough to get your vote.

The DNC, the Obama campaign, and the Santorum campaign are all over this, making fun of Mitt.

Santorum is contrasting himself as the “What you see is what you get” candidate.  Agree with Santorum or not, you have to respect his consistency and conviction.