Last week, one of Mitt Romney's top aides created a tempest in a tea pot when he said that after the primary, the campaign would re-set for the general election, comparing the re-set to an Etch-A-Sketch. Despite the fact that everybody knew what he meant, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and the press jumped all over the comment, bellowing, "See? Even Mitt's own campaign thinks he's got no solid principles!" Of course, the aide's comment suggested nothing of the sort, but the unfortunate toy metaphor played into an existing narrative about Romney and it hurt him, at least temporarily (although not enough to deny him the nomination, which will be his in relatively short order.)
The problem is that while everyone pounced unfairly on Romney for his aide's remark, nobody is focused on the REAL Etch-A-Sketch guy in this race: President Obama.
From the start of his political career, Obama has said one thing and done another. Or he's cleverly dressed up his actual positions while selling more moderate ones. Or he's flat-out lied about what he was doing. There is no greater Etch-A-Sketch guy than the one currently in the White House.
The latest example: this week, Obama was seated with Russian president Dmitri Medvedev. He leaned in and spoke softly to Medvedev, not realizing his words were being picked up by a hot mic. Speaking about missile defense and other contentious matters, Obama told Medvedev to tell incoming president Vladimir Putin to give him some "space" (what is this...."Sex and the City?"). And then: "This is my last election," he whispered to Dmitri. "After my election, I have more flexibility."
Medvedev replied, "I understand," and "I will transmit this information to Vladimir" and "I stand with you."
Worst Commander-in-Chief EVER!
Two points here: 1. You never tell the enemy what you will do, or what you won't. And yes, Russia is still the enemy.
2. What does he need the "flexibility" for?! For more give-away-the-store deals like the New START treaty? For continuing to ignore Russia's increasing oppression at home and provocative rogue behavior abroad?
Obama was suggesting to Medvedev that once he's re-elected, he'll have a free hand to do whatever he wants: give the Russians everything they want and weaken America even more than he already has. And he'll be doing it without the State Department, the intelligence agencies, the Pentagon or anybody else. He'll be acting unilaterally: a big-time foreign policy freelancer.
So we are to disregard everything he says between now and the election, because it's all just posturing to get re-elected. Once back in office, he'll be more....like Putin and Medvedev. He'll act completely differently.
Just like an Etch-A-Sketch.