Reporting from Washington —
Mitt Romney had hoped to avoid dealing with the Etch-A-Sketch question at his only public event Wednesday afternoon, a town hall meeting in Maryland.
But, about half an hour after Romney pointedly told a reporter along the ropeline that he would not be taking questions, reporters were summoned for a quick Q&A.
There was only one "Q," and the candidate knew what it would be.
"First, I just want to tell you, what a great night last night," Romney said after reappearing in a then largely empty American Legion Hall. He was referring to his double-digit victory in Illinois, a win that, coupled with the morning endorsement from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, should have driven the campaign narrative for the week.
"You don't need to cover any of this," he continued. "But boy was that fun."
It was a sheepish acknowledgment that, indeed, Etch-A-Sketch had taken hold.
In the short term, though, Romney's rivals will probably continue to revel in the gaffe of campaign aide Eric Fehrnstrom. If you're Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, there's not much more to say, given math that shows Romney with twice as many delegates.