The Silver Foot In His Mouth: How Romney's Gaffes Keep The Primaries Going

You have to believe someone in Romney-land checked Twitter Wednesday morning, let out a heavy sigh, and said, “Not again.”

The Etch A Sketch anecdote heard round the political world Wednesday wasn’t an outlier for the Romney campaign — it’s a way of life. And it could be keeping Romney from moving on to the general election fight he desperately needs to get started.

This time, it was Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom stepping on Romney’s big win in Illinois and his widely praised victory speech. But it was by no means the first time Romney or the people trying to make him president have derailed a good day by very neatly highlighting their candidates worse attributes.

“A pattern is certainly starting to develop,” unaligned GOP strategist Ford O’Connell told TPM. “I still attribute it to dumb luck. Maybe he should carry a rabbit’s foot in his pocket, I don’t know.”

O’Connell suggested the gaffe pattern could be one of the reasons the process Romney is still likely to win is dragging on so long. Most of the gaffes — and Etch A Sketch was no exception — gave his Republican opponents the same chance to wail on him for a day they did the Democrats.

“These unforced errors are killing him,” O’Connell said. “Because the longer this primary goes on, the more it hurts him in the general election. Every time he makes these comments, some of his conservative detractors — it makes them redouble their efforts. And that makes him work even harder to win the nomination.”

Read more from Evan McMorris-Santoro at TPM

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published this page in In The News 2012-03-22 01:30:28 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy