Romney’s Etch-a-Sketch

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By now you may have heard of Etch-a-Sketch-a-gate. One of Romney’s campaign advisors, Eric Fehrnstrom, said that the Romney campaign will “reboot”, like an Etch-a-Sketch, come the Autumn, to appeal to a larger base of voters.

Your knee-jerk reaction is to say, “That’s terrible! Romney’s a flip-flopper!”

But before you do that, let me ask a question: Which presidential campaign will NOT change their message once they win the nomination?

I welcome the new-found honesty in politics that the Romney campaign brings. What other campaign would be comfortable saying the truth with such boldness and audacity?

Does anyone doubt that campaigns do change their marketing pitch when they approach election time? Is Romney going to be talking about the same things in October that he has been talking about up til now?

If you think he will, you are a fool, and you should not vote for Romney, because he would be a terrible candidate.

You have to adapt your marketing message to the crowd you are targeting. The same message that works with republicans does not work with independents or conservative democrats. The same message that works with the old does not work with the young.

As Jim Gerarghty summarized:

Indeed, what Fehrnstrom did was say explicitly what every campaign does quietly when a primary ends. The goal stops being to win a majority of support among members of the candidate’s party to winning a majority of support within the electorate at large. Very, very rarely does a campaign not have to change its sales pitch as the target audience changes.

And as John Schroeder writes:

I find this true for so many of Team Romney’s “gaffes.”  They are based not in an effort to deceive, but in an incapability to be deceptive.  They don’t want to fool or manipulate the American people.  They expect the American people to understand things and enter the discussion with frankness and a desire to resolve issues.  Conventional political wisdom is that such thought grossly overestimates the average American – perhaps.

But this I do know – you tend to get what you expect from people.  The expectation of Team Romney that people are smart and reasonable will in fact lead at least some to be smart and reasonable.  Is that a bad thing?

Romney is no politician. It’s not in his blood, and it shows. He is a businessman. In business, honesty gets you places you wouldn’t otherwise be, truth is something you’re willing to pay big bucks for, and those who make the wrong choices end up paying with their career.

If only politics and government worked the same way! If you want to get places in government, you have to be so deceptive that you appear to be honest, truth is the thing that you’re willing to pay big bucks to hide or pervert, and those who make the wrong choices get promoted.

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