Ah, if life were only like an Etch A Sketch, a little shake would allow us to erase those mistakes and messy parts. But to invoke the magical toy to explain Mitt Romney’s presidential hopes might have been a mistake, one worth erasing with a shake.

It seems that every Romney win is followed by a Romney gaffe. This time, after his Illinois victory last night, it was not the candidate who stepped in it, but rather his adviser Eric Fehrnstrom, who wanted to talk about what Romney would be like in a general election against President Obama.

“I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again,” Fehrnstrom told CNN.

Conservatives quickly jumped on the flawed analogy, telling voters that Romney would soon revert to his moderate ways.  Rick Santorum told a Louisiana crowd that Romney “is going to be a completely new candidate.” His campaign even handed out Etch A Sketches to people. Newt Gingrich, meanwhile, tweeted that Etch A Sketch is “a great toy but a losing strategy.”

Romney called a brief news conference, the kind in which he takes only one question, where he said: “I’m running as a conservative Republican. I was a conservative Republican governor. I will be running as a conservative Republican, at that point, hopefully, nominee for president.”