What a sad postcript to this election campaign, Mitt Romney's comments to donors that President Obama only won re-election because of "gifts" he bestowed on his constituents. If Romney tried to think of words that would help hustle himself off the public stage as quickly as possible, and make people glad he is no longer relevant, he probably couldn't have done much better than that.
I'll grant that it would have been fair for Romney to point out to his donors that he was at some disadvantage going up against an incumbent president, who does have the advantage of being able to travel around the country and promise storm relief, or wind energy tax credits, or the deferral of deportations for children of undocumented immigrants. But Romney knew that going in. It's sour grapes to complain about the uphill battle that any challenger has against an incumbent.
If Romney was not complaining about having to run against an incumbent, then all he was doing was insulting the majority of Americans who voted for his opponent. The politics of resentment only takes you so far. It got Mitt Romney to about 47% of the popular vote.
The graceful thing to do would have been to admit to your supporters that not enough people were buying the message you were selling. Maybe raise the issue of how to modify that message so that it will resonate with more voters. That might contribute something positive to the public discussion. Maybe it would tell us what Romney really believes in, if anything. If Romney had done that, maybe other leaders of his party would be happy to listen to him instead of telling him to go hide under a rock, as they are doing now. Mitt Romney should heed that advice, and go home and reflect on the meaning of this election a bit more. He should not talk to us again until he has something positive and helpful to say.