BOSTON (AP) - Mitt Romney has been a virtual ghost since his Election Day defeat.
He's been in seclusion in Southern California for most of the time since Nov. 6. He surfaced only for a private lunch with President Barack Obama at the White House on Thursday.
Romney's abrupt withdrawal from politics is creating a leadership vacuum within the GOP. It's left the party rudderless and in disarray during what may be the most important policy debate in a generation.
There's no shortage of Republicans maneuvering to fill the void, from House Speaker John Boehner to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and current New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
GOP officials say the leadership void is par for the course after losing a presidential contest, and that it won't last long.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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