Politico‘s solid piece on Mitt Romney’s 2012 strategy includes this passage:
Much will depend on the still-unsettled primary calendar and the eventual field of candidates. But the former Massachusetts governor’s aim, according to multiple aides and advisers, is to exceed expectations his team is working feverishly to lower in Iowa, to come back strong with a win in New Hampshire, to survive South Carolina in part by picking up an off-setting victory in Nevada and then to settle in for what many described as “a slog” that they’ll emerge from thanks to superior money and organization.
If you’re feverishly working to lower expectations in Iowa, maybe it’s not such a good idea to say so? Now a Romney failure to exceed expectations will have been a failure to meet expectations based on the idea that the expectations should be higher than Romney wants us to think they are. Or so I expect.
Update: Scherer reminds me of this gem from 2007, back when Romney didn’t mind high expectations: