Mitt Romney’s campaign has shaken the Etch A Sketch, left behind the Republican primary and moved onto a general-election footing.

The candidate does not like the Etch A Sketch metaphor, which first surfaced in an ill-advised comment by an adviser during a CNN interview that raised questions about Romney’s fealty to conservative principles.

But when it comes to moving his fire from Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich to President Obama — and to presenting himself primarily as a president-in-waiting rather than a tribune of the conservative grass roots — many GOP insiders feel he has managed the transition well.