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Romney Campaign Boosts Etch a Sketch Sales

Iconic toy reportedly gains a surge in popularity after Arbutus visit.

Sales of the classic toy, Etch A Sketch, have reportedly skyrocketed since Mitt Romney's March 21 visit to Arbutus.

This has less to do with the GOP front-runner's presence in the bucolic suburb of southwest Baltimore County than a gaffe by a Romney political adviser that gained traction in that day's news cycle.

In explaining how the candidate will avoid being pushed too far to the right on the issues during the primaries to capture wide appeal for November's general election in a CNN interview, spokesperson Eric Fehrnstrom likened Romney's positions to an Etch A Sketch.

“It’s almost like an Etch a Sketch," Fehrnstrom said. "You can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again.”

Political opponents wasted no time in capitalizing on the misstep.

In Lousiana, Newt Gingrich reportedly told voters that “having an Etch A Sketch as your campaign model raises every doubt about where we’re going.’’

Rick Santorum reportedly said that he would rather have another four years of President Obama than an "Etch A Sketch Romney."

"We might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk of what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future," Santorum reportedly said while campaigning in Texas.

By the following day, the Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, campaign produced an anti-Romney Etch A Sketch political video and posted it to YouTube.

Outside the Dewey Lowman American Legion Post 109 on March 21, a woman reportedly with the Santorum campaign held a mini Etch A Sketch while surrounded by a small scrum of reporters and news cameras.

Inside, Romney, who has been accused by critics of being a flip-flopper on issues, addressed the gaffe.

"Organizationally, a general election campaign takes on a different profile," he told reporters. "The issues I'm running on will be exactly the same."

According to National Public Radio, sales of Etch A Sketch have increased by 1,500 percent and the stock price of Toledo-based Ohio Art Co. have nearly doubled since March 21.

The Daily Beast reported that by the end of Wednesday, Etch A Sketch had jumped to the No. 1 spot for toys on Amazon.com.

As for the political connotations of the toy, which was introduced in the United States in 1960 and made here until the jobs were shipped overseas to China in 2000, the company that makes it appears to be remaining above the fray in not taking a political stance.

Scott Sewell March 24, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Looks like he's helping the economy already!
Marge Neal March 24, 2012 at 01:15 PM
I heard that the Etch A Sketch company's stock has actually gone up!

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