Can ‘Etch A Sketch’ debate format draw in more visually-oriented youth voters?
In a nod to a Mitt Romney aide, who once said his boss’ campaign is “kind of like an Etch A Sketch,” an additional presidential debate took place last night incorporating the popular drawing toy.
Jim Lehrer grudgingly came out of election coverage retirement to moderate the Etch A Sketch debate.
“Good evening,” he said gravely. “This debate is sponsored by the Hasbro and FAO Schwarz Commission on Toy Presidents.
“Each candidate has 10 minutes to draw a picture related to my questions, then the other candidate has five minutes to rebut with his own picture.”
“Mr. President,” Lehrer said, turning to Obama. “How do you envision health care in the next few years?”
Obama, who is left-handed (a sore point with the Republican right) grabbed the Etch A Sketch’s left knob first, then the right, and then began twitchily etching his sketch.
“Mr. President, your time is up,” Lehrer said.
“Look,” Obama said, “I’m the president. I get two more minutes. You gave him too many minutes in Colorado.”
“Two more minutes.”
Five minutes later, Obama held up his sketch.
“This is a picture of folks I met in Bumpthat, Montana,” he said. “Mary Jane and Walter Moore didn’t have health insurance before Obamacare. Now these good folks have insurance. See how happy these folks are now?”
“Mr. President, all I can see is a bunch of dots and scribbles.”
“Jim, look closely, can’t you see all the smiley faces?”
“Not really. But let’s move on now, “ Lehrer said. “Gov. Romney?”
“Who agreed to me being in this debate?”
“I just hear this toy was invented by a French guy!” Romney said, shaking the Etch A Sketch at Lehrer. “Some guy whose first name was André!”
“And…?” Lehrer said.
“Jim, we need toys that are created by Americans! How are we going to afford health care if we keep buying stuff made in foreign countries? That path is not working. We need a new path. I am a new path. I am the path.”
“Pathological,” Obama said under his breath.
Romney threw his Etch A Sketch on the floor. The audience gasped as it shattered into several pieces.
“Why can’t we debate with American toys, like plastic Army men?” he whined.
He pulled out some green and tan plastic figures from his pockets.
“Here, Barack, you take those and I’ll take these. Me and my sons play, er, played with these all the time.”
Lehrer maintained his deer-in-the-headlights expression.
“Gov. Romney, I hate to tell you this, but the Etch A Sketch is manufactured in Ohio.”
“Ohio, the swing state?”
“Yes, sir,” Lehrer said.
Romney picked up what was left of the toy.
“I didn’t know that! I love Ohio! Love, love, love Ohio! Can we shake this up and start all over again?”
“I don’t think so,” Obama said.