It's been a 48 hours for the Romney campaign, and the cracks are beginning to show. The New York Times' Michael Barbaro reports aides are starting to lose their cool behind the scenes, and wondering if there's still hope.
Could you even blame them for being discouraged? Even without the video, and all its problems things don't look much better elsewhere. The debt isn't a problem. The coffers are open now. Polls in swing states don't look great, and they can't even appease the conservative bloggers. Ann Romney has to assure that her husband doesn't 'disdain' poor people. Elsewhere, no one can figure out who the 'real Romney' is, and words like Rompocalypse are being used in headlines. There are editorials appearing in national papers -- the Wall Street Journal, no less! -- calling the campaign "incompetent." No one would blame them for being a little down.
Too many aides were looking long in the face around the Times' Barbaro, who reports some campaign staffers are having awful flashbacks to 2008:
In low-volume, out-of-the-way conversations, a few of them are now wondering whether victory is still possible and whether they are entering McCain-Palin ticket territory.
One aide described the mood around RomneyTown using a word too blue for the Times' copyeditors:
Still, a flustered adviser, describing the mood, said that the campaign was turning into a vulgar, unprintable phrase.
There were theories floated on Twitter as to what the mystery word could be, but they were hardly scientific.
Things aren't all doom and gloom, though. Kevin Madden, one of Romney's senior advisers, told Barbaro the campaign is, "focused," and, "determined." In fact, Madden is so, "focused," and, "determined," on the campaign that he didn't notice repeating the words , "focused," and, "determined," to Barbaro eight times in a short conversation.
But things started to look up late Tuesday when Romney went on Fox News and got a chance to bring up an old quote of Obama's, one that would hopefully drive the conversation away from his '47 percent' remark. We're still 46 days away. They can still hope for a change.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.