'Detached' Romney tending to wounds in seclusion after failed White House bid
Failed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who planned to be president, is spending time in seclusion waking up each morning now without a plan.
Romney looks out the windows of his beach house in La Jolla, San Diego, at noisy construction workers fixing up his next-door neighbor's home, sending 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, the Washington Post reports.
According to the report, 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.
"I'll change your bedpan, take you back and forth to treatment," he wrote to one who's having a liver transplant soon.
It's not what Romney imagined he would be doing as the New Year approaches.
According to the report, four weeks after losing the 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.
"Is he disappointed? Of course he's disappointed. He's like 41," adviser Ron Kaufman said, referring to former president George H.W. Bush.
"Forty-one would hate to lose a game of horseshoes to the gardener in the White House, and Mitt hates to lose. He's a born competitor," he added.
The defeated Republican nominee has practically disappeared from public view since his loss, exhibiting the same detachment that made it so difficult for him to connect with the body politic through six years of running for president, the report said.
He has made no public comments since his concession speech in the early hours of Nov. 7 and avoided the press last week during a private lunch with President Barack Obama at the White House, the report said.
After Romney told his wealthy donors that he blamed his loss on "gifts" Obama gave to minority groups, his functionaries were unrepentant and Republican luminaries effectively cast him out, it added.
According to the report, yet friends insist Romney is not bitter. Bitterness, said one member of the family, "is not in the Romney genetic code."
Romney, however, has been keeping in shape with bike rides around La Jolla, and is also planning his next career steps, returning to business, perhaps, or something in the charitable realm or with the Mormon Church, friends, who have discussed possibilities with him, said.