The morning after the election, as conservatives everywhere were still trying to come to terms with the reality of another four years of President Barack Obama, the now former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney was busy being a dad, husband and grandfather. A winner.
In a heartwarming photo tweeted by Garret Jackson, one of Romney's close personal aides, the Republican can be seen unwinding on Wednesday morning, surrounded by his kids and grandchildren near his campaign headquarters in Boston, an exhausting and hard fought presidential campaign now officially behind him. The Romney clan can be seen drinking a gallon of chocolate milk.
"Gov hanging out with family this morning. What an incredible family. So blessed to be so close to them," the accompanying message read.
As it turns out, Tuesday night was a win-win for Romney -- and he won big. He will have more time to spend with the people he loves; his wife Ann, his kids, his grandchildren. And while Romney will not become the next president of the United States, it reminds us that there is much more to life than politics. Yes, the battles in Washington, D.C. will undoubtedly rage on, but the picture above proves that the most important things in life can never be taken from us -- not by an out-of-control government, not by any one president.
So, what does the future hold for Romney? The former Massachusetts governor plans to make the significant transition out of the public eye for the time being. He plans to "reflect and spend time with his family" before determining exactly what his next move will be, according to an advisor.
"I don't look at post-election to be a time of regrouping. Instead it's a time of forward focus," Romney told reporters aboard his plane Tuesday evening as he returned to Boston after the final campaign stop of his political career. "I have, of course, a family and life important to me, win or lose."
It wasn't immediately clear if Romney will seek an ongoing role in a Republican Party. With a successful career in the private sector, he could secure a position in private business. Those close to Romney also suggest he could purse philanthropic opportunities or even play a role in the Olympics after having led the 2002 Winter Games.
"He's not a guy who's going to stay still, right," said Russ Schriefer, one of Romney's top strategists. "He's not a guy that's just going to hit a beach, play a lot of golf. He'll do something."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.