But Brown seemed less cavalier about the episode, vowing to prevent his staff from pulling similar shenanigans in the future.

Whether he knew about the CrazyKhazei account or not, Brown clearly doesn't want voters to get that peek behind the curtain. Romney and Fehrnstrom, by contrast, seem unfazed, or even proud of their campaign antics.

The Etch A Sketch gaffe, after all, was just Fehrnstrom pulling back that curtain at the strategy for the general election. The same happened in November, when Fehrnstrom declared it "deliberate" and "intentional" that Romney's first TV ad grossly misrepresented an Obama statement.

The Globe, editorializing about that incident, wrote that "On one level, there's something appealing about Fehrnstrom's stark political honesty: acknowledging a process that favors distortion over reality, and admitting a campaign's role in that cynical game." Romney finds it appealing as well; the two were made for each other.

Read the Talking Politics blog at  thePhoenix.com/talkingpolitics. David S. Bernstein can be reached at  dbernstein@phx.com. Follow him on Twitter @dbernstein.

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