I feel sorry for Eric Fehrnstrom. Known as a hard-headed Swede, he pulled a bone-headed move when he told CNN that Mitt Romney’s campaign will simply shake itself clean after the primaries and reset like Etch a Sketch, that old, oddly compelling game you played as a child. (Best product placement ever in a presidential campaign, by the way.)
I feel sorry for him because the pit bull should never bite his owner and that’s what Fehrnstrom did. He made a uniquely unhelpful comment because, as has been tweeted to death, it feeds the central weakness of Romney’s candidacy: a lack of core values. The former Boston reporter and political operative has made his career hurling himself in front of reporters to protect Romney. Most politicians, who aspire to the highest offices, need someone like Fehrnstrom. Because they really, really hate — and I don’t think that is too strong a word — the press. And, if they don’t have someone to run major interference, then their contempt and anger can erupt and their campaign can melt down. Remember what happened to Romney’s father, George? His campaign ended in humiliation because, under pressure from the press, he uttered his famous “brainwashing” defense. He could have used somebody like Fehrnstrom.