Noticeably absent from Monday's inauguration festivities was one Mitt Romney. The Republican presidential nominee chose to sit things out, instead spending the day at his home in sunny La Jolla, Calif., where an aide suggested he'd most likely not even bother to turn on the TV to watch President Obama take the oath of office. In the process, according to the Huffington Post, he became the first nominee from either party to take a pass on the inauguration since Michael Dukakis did so in 1989 after losing to George H.W. Bush.
Romney has done his best to mostly stay out of the public eye since his November loss, so his absence from the inauguration was somewhat understandable, if nonetheless noteworthy. But the former governor won't do himself any favors in his quest to fade into the background with this news, via the National Journal:
Mitt Romney ... is scheduled to be in Washington on Friday for a reception in honor of him and his wife, Ann.
Two major Romney campaign fundraisers, Virginia philanthropist Catherine Reynolds and hotel magnate Bill Marriott Jr., have invited guests to wear business attire to a luncheon at Washington’s J.W. Marriott Hotel. Reynolds’s office confirmed that the Romneys would be on hand. The event’s invitation is topped by a close-crop of an American flag painted on newsprint.