Tale of Two Campaigns

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Getty Images

Lots of interesting new TV ads, Romney’s overseas trip, compelling new polls — there is, without a doubt, a lot going on in the mid-summer of a presidential race with about 100 days left to go.

Given the unemployment and wrong track numbers, a (perhaps) surprisingly high percentage of the members of the Gang of 500 to whom I speak believe the President will win re-election. But no one I know is counting Romney out.

Although campaign advisers are of course paid in part to project an air of optimism about their candidate’s chances, they don’t always do that in a full-throated manner, or with believability.

On Tuesday evening, I chatted with the chief strategists for both campaigns: David Axelrod for President Obama and Stuart Stevens for Governor Romney.

So here’s my point:

Both men have said to me for months some version of “I’d rather be us than them,” as the punctuating sentence on a compelling description of why they each have felt they have the stronger hand.

Both Axelrod and Stevens on Tuesday night struck the exact same posture. They both said they are not taking anything for granted, are working very hard, and believe the race could well stay as it has been (within 2-3 points and without movement) all the way through the end.

But both of them reaffirmed, with apparent certainty and commitment, that they would “rather be us than them,” yet again.

And I don’t get the chance that that shared sentiment is likely to change anytime soon.

For those who think this is no news and pro forma:  I’ve talked to a lot of presidential campaign operatives over the years and, believe me, it is unusual for both sides to be making this case so confidently and with such persuasiveness at this point in the election cycle.

Related Topics: David Axelrod, Mark Halperin, Stuart Stevens, 2012 Elections, Analysis, Democratic Party, News, Republican Party, The Page, White House

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