Romney Team Ponders How to Rise Above the Fray

March 8, 2012 12:00 am

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"You can't treat this like a math equation," said Alex Castellanos, a political adviser to Mr. Romney during his 2008 campaign. "Your job as a candidate is to inspire people to join something greater than ourselves. What is Mitt asking people to be part of?"

Several campaign aides acknowledged that fatigue had settled in for both the candidate and his staff here in Boston. One adviser, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Mr. Romney had too often resorted to micromanaging, especially on speeches and opinion pieces for newspaper editorial pages.

But supporters said in interviews they took it as a positive sign that his team of advisers had held together through the ups and downs of the year, without any major leaks that detailed friction or backbiting among aides. At this time four years ago the campaigns of Mr. McCain and Hillary Rodham Clinton had experienced staff defections, forced changes in senior positions and continuing reports of internal friction.

"We believe Mitt Romney is well on his way to the nomination," said Mr. Rhoades, whose office walls here are covered with maps of crucial electoral battleground states. "He won't win every contest going forward, but he will add to his delegate lead whether he comes in first or second, and there's no real opportunity for his opponents to catch up."

Jeff Zeleny reported from Boston, and Jim Rutenberg from New York. Ashley Parker contributed reporting from Boston.

First Published 2012-03-07 23:09:36

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