(Photo: AP via Politico)
Romney donors who have contributed more than $50,000 or raised at least $250,000 for the Romney Victory fund are being treated to what has been described as a “rock concert for Republicans,” where the politically-inclined can mingle with the likes of Paul Ryan, Jason Chaffetz, Karl Rove, Jeb Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and the presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney himself.
According to Politico, the three-day retreat also featured presentations on the campaign, and one attendee said: “It kind of exemplified how the operation works and it was a very successful presentation…If there was any question as to whether this was a professional team, I think those questions were totally dispelled…”
Hosted at a ski resort on Utah, close to 800 donors were reportedly in attendance– more than twice as many as originally expected. And Romney is not planning on losing his fundraising edge to Obama any time soon, it seems.
“You get 800 people excited,” said attendee Allen Weh, the former New Mexico GOP chair and gubernatorial candidate. “They’re going to go out and get more.”
Attendees began to flow into The Chateaux at Silver Lake on Friday afternoon. Many arrived in vans and black cars that shuttled them from nearby private airport terminals and the main airport 30 minutes away in Salt Lake City.
In the lobby of the Chateaux a team of young staffers processed check-ins, handing every attendee a beige Vineyard Vines duffle bag with “Believe in America” embroidered on one side and a circular flag-style emblem and “Romney” on the reverse. Each bag contained a white binder with “Romney Leadership Team” printed on the cover and a blue baseball cap with the same circular design as the bag.
And while the entire event was off-limits to the press, guests who declined to be named say that everyone inside was in “high spirits.”
“This was much more meaty than I thought it would be,” Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz commented. “I thought it would be a little bit more rah rah but we had a lot of the internal workings of Romney world and how they do things day to day. I thought the senior staff portion was really neat where they talked about the 10 a.m. meeting and how they go through some of the decision making process.”
He continued: “A lot of people are getting their picture taken with who might be the vice presidential pick,“ identifying the person as ”any one of the brand names in there, from Paul Ryan to Sen. Thune, to (former Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice.”
Romney remains wildly poplar with Utah voters, with 68 percent of registered voters supporting him in the presidential election, while just 26 percent support President Obama, according to a Desert News/KSL-TV poll.