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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Foot-in-mouth disease

Has there ever been a political campaign as skilled as Mitt Romney's in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?

Just hours after Romney decisively took Illinois, top aide Eric "Crazy Khazei" Ferhnstrom, committed one of the finest verbal bloopers in a campaign plagued by them, explaining how the ever-flexible Romney will adjust when it wins the GOP nomination.
“You hit a reset button for the fall campaign," Fehrnstrom said in explaining why the campaign is not concerned about alienating moderates as Romney tacks to the right to attract primary conservatives. “Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch - you can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again."
The firestorm was immediate, boosting toy sales among rival campaigns.

It is truly remarkable how a campaign noted for its discipline has come to treat the mornings after as would partiers coming off a bender. The candidate has been the biggest offender, talking about his lack of concern for the poor just hours after taking the Florida primary.

Fehrnstrom's verbal gaffe came as Romney won what some in the GOP considered the most important endorsement -- former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. But instead of a storyline talking about Romney's inevitability, we find ourselves talking yet again about ill-conceived remarks.
“How many times have they had a big win, only to step in it the next day? They can’t win for losing,” said Chip Felkel, a Republican strategist from South Carolina who said the Romney campaign is developing a bad habit of stumbling near the finish line.
It's doubtful anything bad will befall Fehrnstrom, who has been with Romney since the beginning. But you can't help but wonder whether he will be asked to spend more time with Scott Brown's campaign in the near future.

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