Mitt Romney doesn’t know what to do with himself, now that he’s not going to be president. That’s the key takeaway from this piece in the Washington Post. A clip:
Mitt Romney looks out the windows of his beach house here in La Jolla, a moneyed and pristine enclave of San Diego, at noisy construction workers fixing up his next-door neighbor’s home, sending out regular updates on the renovation. He devours news from 2,600 miles away in Washington about the “fiscal cliff” negotiations, shaking his head and wondering what if.
Gone are the minute-by-minute schedules and the swarm of Secret Service agents. There’s no aide to make his peanut-butter-and-honey sandwiches. Romney hangs around the house, sometimes alone, pecking away at his iPad and e-mailing his CEO buddies who have been swooping in and out of La Jolla to visit. He wrote to one who’s having a liver transplant soon: “I’ll change your bedpan, take you back and forth to treatment.”
It’s not what Romney imagined he would be doing as the new year approaches.
Four weeks after losing a presidential election he was convinced he would win, Romney’s rapid retreat into seclusion has been marked by repressed emotions, second-guessing and, perhaps for the first time in the overachiever’s adult life, sustained boredom, according to interviews with more than a dozen of Romney’s closest friends and advisers.
Romney is mostly holed up in his vast La Jolla, California mansion (no car elevator yet), with family. They apparently ordered Boston Market for Thanksgiving because there were too many kids and people in the house to cook.
The Post reports that Ann Romney seems to be in even more difficult straights:
By all accounts, the past month has been most difficult on Romney’s wife, Ann, who friends said believed up until the end that ascending to the White House was their destiny. They said she has been crying in private and trying to get back to riding her horses.
And the lack of Romney-GOP love is apparently mutual:
In private, Romney has told friends he has little interest in helping the Republican Party rebuild and re-brand itself.
Advisers also said he felt no need to explain himself after his comments to donors about Obama using the power of incumbency to give “gifts” to female, black and Latino voters leaked into the public sphere. One adviser said Romney regretted the remarks “coming out the way it did.” Fehrnstrom, meanwhile, said, “He was expressing the frustration that any challenger would feel about an incumbent who used the powers of his incumbency — as we would have if the shoe was on the other foot.”’
The Wapo article offered some clues on what Romney might have an interest in doing next, based on his real base, and his real friends:
Romney relied heavily on like-minded millionaires such as Simmons to raise more than $1 billion during the campaign, and he has been calling many of them to thank them individually for their help. Last week, he called Jet Blue Airways Chairman Joel Peterson, an old friend.
“He just said, ‘I’m sorry I let you guys down,’?” Peterson said. “He sounded really calm, upbeat, warm. There was no anger or sense of defensiveness or anything.”
For years, as he competed for the affections of GOP activists in Iowa, Romney called Joni Scotter over and over again— on her birthdays, on her 50th wedding anniversary. When Scotter’s husband died this spring, Romney had white roses and lilies delivered to her.
Scotter said she hasn’t heard from Romney since he lost Iowa on Nov. 6.
So what’s a probable billionaire (when you count the money he’s stashing in the Caymans and the deductions he could have taken and didn’t) to do?
I’d suggest that Romney, whose real love is business, not the American people (clearly) or politics, or the GOP, should go back to his roots. He should start a big, massive hedge fund.
As long as it doesn’t do anything illegal and get caught, he’ll be back, big time. Doing what he loves. Makin’ money and hanging with the other car elevator people.
Screw the 47 percent — and the 47 percent who voted for you, Mitt (can you believe that was your final total? Boy does God have a sense of humor!) Get back in business. Do the Ayn Rand thing. Be about you.