When months ago Mitt Romney’s spokesman suggested he could Etch a Sketch his way back to the political center, I expected the Convention to be the venue for this makeover. But that was not to be, as a hall full of Tea Party fanatics would have actively booed a moderate acceptance speech from Romney. So they waited until the debates which had an additional benefit of catching Obama flat-footed in responding to Moderate Mitt.
The third debate last night was the most amazing part of the Etch a Sketch strategy. Since the beginning of the campaign, Romney has surrounded himself with George Bush’s most aggressive Neocon foreign policy experts, like John Bolton and Dan Senor. I would have given a lot to watch John Bolton observing Romney twist and sweat himself last night into the ultimate peacenik in his closing statement, “I want to see peace. I want to see growing peace in this country. It’s our objective.” But of course, just like all of Romney’s instant transformations, this one is not credible.
I’m convinced the Kumbaya routine from Romney comes from his pollsters who are telling him that America is tired of fighting wars in the Mideast and Romney’s bellicose rhetoric towards Iran is scaring voters. Obama needs to drive this home just the way LBJ used the famous daisy bomb ad to scare voters about Goldwater’s finger on the nuclear trigger. Obama already has an ad that makes this point. He should put it up nationally this week.