Election 2012

NY Times: Gloom and Doom at Romney Campaign

Aides wonder if it's all over

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Mitt Romney's traveling press secretary walked to the back of the candidate's plane midflight on Tuesday and teasingly asked a pair of journalists in an exit row if they were "willing and able to assist in case of an emergency."

Under the circumstances, it was hard to tell whether it was a question or a request.

A palpably gloomy and openly frustrated mood has begun to envelop Mr. Romney's campaign for president. Well practiced in the art of lurching from public relations crisis to public relations crisis, his team seemed to reach its limit as it digested a ubiquitous set of video clips that showed their boss candidly describing nearly half of the country's population as government-dependent "victims," and saying that he would "kick the ball down the road" on the biggest foreign policy challenge of the past few decades, the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.