Think Progress reports that Romney Communications Director Eric Fehrnstrom believes Mitt should be given a “reset button” allowing him to change his positions again as he transitions from the primary to the general election.

Romeny has already had to alter many of his positions in order to appeal to the Republican Party base. And Rick Santorum’s recent primary successes, and his increasingly crazy positions, have forced Romney to deliver a more and more extremist conservative message on everything from the health care reform act (despite the similarities to his own health care reforms in Massachusetts) to contraception and issues of women’s health.

When asked how Romney was going to shift back toward the middle to appeal to independent voters, Fehrnstrom said:

Well, 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 restart all of over again.

Obviously this gaffe helps play right into the Romney-is-a-flip-flopper-and-not-a-true-conservative line of attack his opponents have been using for months. But for Ohioans, the Etch A Sketch reference should have even more significance.

For 40 years the Etch a Sketch was produced in Bryan Ohio by the Ohio Art Company. But in 2003 production was moved to China – putting 100 employees out of work in this small town of about 8,000 who had for decades billed itself as the home of the Etch a Sketch.

There is no evidence Romney’s work at Bain Capital impacted the decisions at the Ohio Art Company, but as Bill Sloat reports, Bain Capital, the buy-out firm founded by Mitt Romney, has sent hundreds of other Ohio jobs to China in similar moves.

We should all keep the Etch a Sketch comment in mind as we head into the general election.

Conservatives expecting Romney to carry their anti-woman, anti-gay banner this fall are going to be seriously disappointed (but probably not surprised) when the Romney campaign starts shaking up its Etch a Sketch. The rest of us would do well to remember the impact Romney’s work at Bain Capital had on companies like Ohio Art and communities like Bryan Ohio.