That’s right, campers! It’s time for another exciting episode of Where the hell is Mitt Romney???
Mitt Romney has kept an aggressively low profile since getting blown out by President Obama on Nov. 6. So perhaps it’s no surprise that he didn’t travel to Washington, D.C. for today’s inauguration. But the failed GOP presidential nominee reportedly didn’t even watch the event on TV.
Romney put out word through people close to him that he wasn’t going to watch President Obama take his ceremonial oath on Monday. Instead, he planned to be at one of his homes in La Jolla, Calif.
A Romney aide told NBC the former Massachusetts governor and his wife Ann have “no big plans.” And when asked if he’d watch the ceremonies, the aide said, “doubtful.”
Romney’s absence makes him the first losing candidate not to attend since 1989, when Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis didn’t attend George H.W. Bush’s swearing in. Instead, he stayed in his home state, watched on TV, and ate a tuna sandwich.
MNSBC host Lawrence O’Donnell weighed in on Romney’s no-show, saying it was an “understandable choice to not come here [to Capitol Hill] especially if you’re not a man of Washington…I get that, but I don’t get why you have to take that extra step and say ‘I’m not gonna watch.’”
“It isn’t the moment where he should have announced that about himself,” O’Donnell added.
Host Rachel Maddow said by making it known he wasn’t going to watch, Romney was “making himself the story.”
But wait! There’s more:
It is a tradition for the runner-up in any presidential election to be honored on the day that the President is sworn in. You can look through the history books and find dinners in honor of John McCain, John Kerry and Al Gore; you have to go back to Bob Dole to find one who did not at least attend festivities, although Dole himself was in D.C. on that day and held private events. To find a defeated opponent completely snubbing the inauguration, one has to go back to Walter Mondale in 1985, who left Washington D.C. prior to Ronald Reagan’s second inauguration.
Given this history, some look to the last presidential hopeful for the Republican Party to see where he is today and finds him eerily missing. Like Mondale, Mitt Romney is as far away from Washington D.C. as possible. A spokesperson said it was doubtful that Mr. Romney would be attending any events, or even watching the inauguration.
This, of course, lends credence to the claims by some that Mitt Romney did not want to be President at all. Or, perhaps, he’s just a sore loser suffering from “taking my ball and going home” syndrome. He didn’t win, so he wants to deny ever being in the race. It is doubtful that he will ever make himself a player on the national stage again.
So now we have a Republican party left without any leadership. Had Romney shown up, it would have been a sign that he could remain a leader in the party. Instead, his absence leaves the party adrift, teetering on collapse. The party’s open embrace of unpopular positions leaves them with little option but to rig elections, something they no longer even try to hide in their attempt to manipulate the process of putting someone in the White House.
So was it Dukakis or Mondale? Who cares.
What none of the several articles and blog posts on this subject bothers to mention is that all those other guys had business in Washington DC – they were sitting senators or in Gore’s case he was the outgoing vice president.
So exactly what was Romney supposed to do anyway? Show up at a couple dinners? Was he even invited to the inauguration? Mitt holds no elective office or official position in the GOP. I’m sure John Boehner would really appreciate Mitt showing up and trying to lead the party.
Mitt lost the election. He has no plans to run for office again. They complained because Sarah Palin stayed in the news even though she initially tried to resume her former life. Now they are complaining because Mitt is trying to go away.