So far, however, Romney hasn’t called up some supporters who contributed in other ways.
For years, as he competed for the affections of GOP activists in Iowa, Romney called Joni Scotter over and over again— on her birthdays, on her 50th wedding anniversary. When Scotter’s husband died this spring, Romney had white roses and lilies delivered to her.
Scotter said she hasn’t heard from Romney since he lost Iowa on Nov. 6.
“He hasn’t called,” she said. “I know they’re moving to California . . . so he’s doing his very best to stand back.”
On Nov. 15, his last night in Boston before jetting west, Romney rented out Il Casale, an Italian restaurant whose owner is a friend, for about 30 top advisers and staffers.
According to one aide, as everyone went around the dinner table sharing stories, Romney told the group, “Even though I don’t always show it, I’m very emotionally attached to you, as if you were all part of my family, and I’m going to miss you all.”
Friends said Romney plans to reside mostly in La Jolla during the colder months and in Wolfeboro, N.H., where he has a lakefront compound, during the warmer months. But he will maintain his official residency in Massachusetts.
Romney will keep a small office in Boston — he is subletting the space from Solamere Capital, the private-equity firm founded by his eldest son, Tagg, and his campaign’s finance chairman, Spencer Zwick — where his only remaining aide, assistant Kelli Harrison, will manage his affairs.
Romney has personally helped his out-of-work staffers land new jobs, holding office hours inside the campaign headquarters for anyone who wanted his counsel. Campaign chairman Bob White created an internal résumébank and marshaled the vast donor network to help.
Here in California, there is still some joy, friends say. A photo surfaced before Thanksgiving showing a grinning Romney riding a roller coaster during a visit with his grandkids to Disneyland.
Romney also wrote to Miller, who has been out of town, that his La Jolla neighbor’s house was “a mess” from an ongoing renovation project and that “nobody was working.”
“He was pulling my leg,” Miller said.