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Message to Romneys: It's time to move on

By JONATHAN CAPEHART

Publication: The Day

Published March 10. 2013 4:00AM
Charles Dharapak/AP Photo
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Ann Romney arrive at a New Hampshire campaign rally Nov. 5 at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H.

There is a grand tradition of the previous occupant of the Oval Office going into a kind of hiding. It's not exactly a "hidden to the world" kind of exile, but still it's a low profile.

A pity that this custom doesn't extend to failed presidential candidates.

Of course, I'm talking about the Romneys. Yes, both of them. Mitt might have have been the Republican presidential nominee, but his wife, Ann, is suffering from a serious case of sour grapes.

In a weekend interview on "Fox News Sunday," Mitt mostly did OK. He still believes he would have been the better president and that the sequester nonsense we're dealing with now would not have happened were he in the White House. Still, when Mitt was asked whether he engaged in second-guessing or battled anger, he said the right things and struck the right tone:

"No, you look back at the campaign and say, OK, what did the president do well, and you acknowledge that his campaign did a number of things very effectively. Of course, you rehearse all the mistakes that you made. And I went through a number of my mistakes, I'm sure. And then you think about the things that were out of our control. But you move on. I mean, I don't spend my life looking back. It's like, OK, what are we going to do next?"

Ann hasn't moved on.

"Oh, for me, yes. I cried," she admitted to Fox host Chris Wallace. "When you pour that much of your life and energy and passion into something and you're disappointed by the outcome, it's very - it's sad. It's very hard."

"I'm mostly over it. But not completely," she said. "And you have moments where you, you know, go back and feel the sorrow of the loss."

Oh, for Pete's sake.

None of this should come as a surprise. There were many examples during the campaign of Ann's imperious belief that she deserved to be first lady of the United States. And in December, The Washington Post's Philip Rucker had a superb story about Mitt and Ann Romney's post-loss life. According to friends of Ann's, Rucker reported, she "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."

As the Fox interview painfully made plain, Ann is still crying. She needs to follow her husband's example. Quit the rhetorical waterworks and move on.

Jonathan Capehart writes about politics for The Washington Post.

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