Like a game of “Where’s Waldo?” media watchers, D.C. insiders, and political junkies of every stripe have been wondering just where Mitt Romney’s been since he made his concession speech on November 6, 2012. There was that slightly sad Costco sighting; the man was caught – gasp! – pumping his own gas, but when he never made it to the Inauguration, something very few presidential candidates have missed, the whispers about a devastated Ann Romney and a listless, unmotivated Mitt began to emerge.
Not so, says Mitt himself.
Finally making it back to Washington D.C. for a lunch hosted in his honor by two of his major fundraisers, Catherine Reynolds and Bill Marriott of the hotel chain (on whose board of directors Romney serves, rejoining after the election), the Romneys were all smiles, accompanied by his former running mate, Paul Ryan, and his wife, along with other GOP luminaries for a festive celebration.
Despite Mitt’s fairly lengthy post-election disappearance – particularly the notable absence from the inauguration, the first nominee not to attend since Michael Dukakis in 1989 – he is, in fact, is doing just fine and looking forward to getting back into…helping out.
Romney told top Washington bundlers, donors and senior campaign leadership in a meeting Friday morning that he would help out GOP candidates for governor in 2013, during the upcoming midterm elections and the 2016 presidential race, according to two people who attended the meeting.
Romney also made clear his ambition for elected office has ended, according to another source present.
“We lost, but I’m not going away,” Romney told the crowd, according to a person who attended the meeting. “I will continue to help.” [Politico]
He also made the point that he purposely stayed quiet and out of sight so as not to distract from the very important fiscal cliff conversations going on at the turn of the year. According to Politico, he didn’t want anything he said to be used as an “wedge issue” by the President between the Speaker and the minority leader. Knowing Mitt’s propensity to say things that tend to set fires (47%, anyone?), that was probably a wise decision.
Next on the agenda is the Alfalfa Club Dinner, a very exclusive event attended by “Washington power brokers.” [Boston.com] Now that he doesn’t have Secret Service trailing his every move and he’s apparently shaken off the post-election doldrums, odds are merry Mitt is going to be much more of a fixture on the D.C. party scene. Hopefully that will cheer Ann up.