Sometimes, losing national candidates actually manage to enhance their reputations in defeat. The most famous example of this is probably Bob Dole, who growled his way through the 1996 campaign but then turned in a earned him respect that had eluded him throughout that campaign.
Based on their conduct since last week’s election, though, it’s safe to say that the two most recent national losers won’t be joining this company anytime soon.
Mitt Romney has been publicly quiet since his brief remarks on Election Night, but he told his top donors on a conference call yesterday that Barack Obama had won by giving “very generous” freebies to key constituencies, including blacks, Hispanics and young people.
“The president’s campaign,” Romney said, “focused on giving targeted groups a big gift, so he made a big effort on small things. Those small things, by the way, add up to trillions of dollars.”