Mitt Romney has retreated into ‘seclusion’ after his failed presidential run and has so little to do he is offering to change bedpans for sick friends to ease his boredom.
In a huge step down from the campaign trail, the former Republican candidate for the White House is said to have reached out to a friend going through a liver transplant and offered to care for him.
Gone are Romney’s daily briefings with top aides and Secret Service entourage - now he spends his days alone on his iPad as he grapples with crushing disappointment.
Down and out: This picture of Romney pumping his own gas does not depict the former presidential candidate in decline, his friends say
Seclusion: Romney has retreated to his $12million home in an exclusive part of La Jolla, California, where he spend his days on his iPad
An article in the Washington Post paints a picture of a man going through the awful low that presidential candidates have to deal with after they lose - in his case after six years of campaigning.
Exacerbating Romney’s plight is that unlike other failed contenders like John McCain and John Kerry, he does not have a job in the Senate to go back to.
He has also had to endure seeing wife Ann, who publicly admitted the campaign was very hard on her, cry in private as she takes it even worse than him.
According to the Washington Post, she and Romney thought it was their destiny to end up in the White House but are instead dealing with the wreckage of what went wrong.
Romney, 65, is holed up in his mansion on the seafront in La Jolla, an exclusive area of San Diego in California, taking visits from business colleagues and friends.
He has been going on bike rides to stay fit and recently welcomed his family to the home for Thanksgiving but ordered dinner from Boston Market as there were too many relatives to cook for them all.
Giving back: Romney offered to change the bedpan of a friend is who undergoing a liver transplant
Consolation: Romney and Obama met in the Oval Office last week to bury the hatchet after a hard-fought campaign
Plans to renovate the home have been put on hold and the only construction going ahead is at Romney’s neighbour’s mansion.
Romney also spends a lot of time emailing friends and wrote to the one going through the liver transplant: 'I’ll change your bedpan, take you back and forth to treatment.'
Romney adviser Ron Kaufman said: ‘Is he disappointed? Of course he’s disappointed. He’s like 41.'
The reference is to President George H.W. Bush, who lost his reelection bid in 1992 to Bill Clinton.
'Forty-one would hate to lose a game of horseshoes to the gardener in the White House, and Mitt hates to lose. He’s a born competitor.'
Romney has ruled out taking up another position within the Republican party because of the way it treated him after the election.
When he claimed that President Obama won a second term because of ‘gifts’ he bestowed on the minorities, the Republican leadership effectively exiled him.
Now Romney is said to be considering a Clinton Global Initiative style organisation which would allow him to do some good.
Robert Shrum, a senior strategist on Democratic presidential campaigns, said: 'Nothing so unbecame his (Romney’s) campaign as his manner of leaving it.
Despair: Ann reportedly cannot stop crying over the loss. She has publicly said that the campaign took a great toll on her
'I don’t think he’ll ever be a significant figure in public life again.'
Recent pictures of Romney looking haggard do not tell the truth, friends say, and Romney is not letting himself go or holding a grudge.
Bitterness is ‘not in the Romney genetic code’, the Washington Post claims, and the worst thing he is going through right now is seeing Ann so upset she can barely ride her beloved horses.
During the campaign the 63-year-old, who suffers from MS, attacked those who were criticising the Romney camp and in one outburst said: ‘Stop it. This is hard. You want to try it? Get in the ring.’
John Miller, a meatpacking magnate who co-chaired Romney’s finance committee and owns the beach house next door, said Romney was not a poor loser, but confirmed he was struggling.
He said: 'He’s not crying on anybody’s shoulders.
'He’s not blaming anybody...He’s doing a lot of personal introspection about the whole process - and I’m not even sure that’s healthy.
'There’s nothing you can do about it now.'