Mitt and Ann Romney (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Mitt and Ann Romney on election night.
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

There is a grand tradition of the previous occupant of the Oval Office going into a kind of hiding. Not a “hidden to the world” kind of exile, as the pope emeritus finds himself in, but still keeps a low profile. And he most certainly keeps his mouth shut about his successor, lest he be accused of meddling or resentment. 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.

During an interview on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace that aired yesterday, Mitt mostly did okay. He still feels that he would have been the better president and that the sequester nonsense we’re in 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 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.”

“It’s an adjustment. You know, it’s interesting; in our church, we’re used to serving and you know, you can be in a very high position, but you recognize you’re serving,” she said. “And now all of a sudden, you’re released and you’re nobody. And we’re used to that.”

“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 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.

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Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.