The Romney campaign has entered the stage where if things look dicey in the hard numbers, they cannot let it show that they’re at all concerned. In fact, the worse things may look, the more upbeat they are.
This is not a new tactic. In fact, at this stage of the game, it’s one way to tell that they know they’ve got a rough road: crank up the optimism and exuberance to 11 to the point where you start creeping people out with the maniacal laughter and straw-grasping.
“I’m optimistic, I’m optimistic,” Mr. Romney told supporters Wednesday night in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, repeating the word throughout his rally. “Not just about winning — we are going to win, by the way, we’re going to do that. I’m more optimistic about the future for America.”
If that confidence is welcomed by Mr. Romney’s supporters, who far outnumber the crowds at most Republican rallies four years ago at this point, the mood is more guarded back at his headquarters in Boston, where the campaign is trying “not to get caught up in the moment,” in the words of one aide.
The Romney team is mindful that the new enthusiasm has not opened any new paths to winning 270 electoral votes. The campaign continues to keep an eye on trying to make a late run at Pennsylvania, advisers said, but it remains more of a last-ditch option.
Sure, it’s easy to understand why a candidate has to project that they’re going to win; if they don’t, who will? It’s also part of the grieving process; denial, bargaining, etc. And the Republicans also have the tendency to bully the press into believing anything they put out there due to the sheer force of their will: they never back down, even when they’re faced with overwhelming facts and reality, like the little kid denying that he raided the cookie jar even as the crumbs spew out of his mouth.