About an hour after Mitt Romney delivered his brief, graceful concession speech at the Boston Convention Center, a group of his top aides — Beth Myers, Eric Fehrnstrom, Stuart Stevens, Russ Schriefer, and several others — retired to the bar of the nearby Westin Hotel. Nobody was crying, nobody was cursing, nobody was drowning his or her sorrows. It was just a quiet, impromptu gathering of people who had worked for a long time, some of them for many years, to elect Mitt Romney president.
An hour after a concession speech is no time to discuss the big, underlying reasons for a political defeat. And so at the Westin there was talk about proximate causes, especially Hurricane Sandy and how it had stopped Romney’s momentum and helped Barack Obama polish his presidential image at a critical time in the campaign. Before Sandy, Romney’s aides had watched him move up, point by point, in the national tracking polls. After Sandy, Romney slipped, Obama rose, and the race became a virtual tie.