I've often thought that there are few things worse than getting your party's nomination for president and then losing. To come so close to becoming the most powerful and important person on Planet Earth and then to fall short, and to boot, not only not getting a nice silver medal but being heaped with scorn, ridiculed, and condemned—that must just eat you up inside. Some losers, like John McCain, have a job to go back to, but most don't, and Mitt Romney hasn't had a job since he started running for president five years ago. Let's assume for the moment that all the polls are right, and tonight is going to end with Barack Obama getting re-elected. What will Romney do with himself?
He certainly isn't going to run for office again. He couldn't get elected in Massachusetts, where he lives, and would he even want to? After you've reached for the brass ring, becoming a senator or even a governor would seem like going down to the minors. Is he going to go back to Bain Capital? That would seem small-time too, once you've been on magazine covers and become the second-most-famous person in America. And it's not as though Romney can work on his memoirs and plan for the building of the Romney Library.
Once you've lost (unless you're McCain—special case), nobody in politics cares what you have to say anymore. He won't be invited to speak at the 2016 GOP convention, and he won't be sought out for his strategic insight. I suppose Romney could just serve on some corporate boards and maybe spend more time with his foundation. But he doesn't seem like a guy who just wants to sit around, unlike the last Republican president, who right now is sitting in his living room, the floor strewn with chips and beer bottles, as he works his way through Halo 4.
Maybe he could take up polo or something. After her failure in the Olympics, Rafalca is probably looking for a new way to serve her country.