It sounds like Mitt Romney has scheduled quite a get-together for this weekend. On Friday, the Republican presidential hopeful will kick off a soiree of sorts, “strategizing and fraternizing with his biggest bundlers at a posh resort in Park City, Utah.”
The presumptive Republican nominee and his senior advisers and aides are hosting two days of policy sessions and campaign strategy discussions at the Deer Valley resort for more than 100 top fundraisers and their spouses. Those who raised more than $100,000 are expected to attend.
More than a dozen Republican heavy-hitters are scheduled to join the private retreat as special guests.
Though the full guest list has not been released to the public, the Washington Post makes it sound like a who’s who of GOP players. The “biggest bundlers” will hobnob with Romney and his team of advisors, as well as Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal, John Thune, John McCain, Condoleezza Rice, Jeb Bush, Reince Priebus, and former Utah governor Mike Leavitt, who happens to be leading up Romney’s transition team.
Conservative media personalities will also be on hand, including Bill Kristol, Fred Barnes, and Mary Matalin, culminating in a speech from Karl Rove (Rove wears several hats this year, including running an attack super PAC, while providing campaign analysis as an ostensible media professional).
All of this, apparently, is “a way to reward top-performing bundlers, who make their own donations and then raise many times that from their networks of friends and associates.” To be sure, this is quite a treat for these bundlers, who will reportedly be “briefed on campaign strategy” during the posh affair (the agenda for Saturday evening includes “dessert and dancing”).
And who are the lucky folks who scored exclusive invitations? We don’t know.That’s part of the problem.
Unlike George W. Bush, John McCain, and Barack Obama, each of whom voluntarily disclosed the names of their bundlers, Romney refuses to share this information, preferring to maintain a veil of secrecy over his fundraising operation. These bundlers are poised to get extraordinary access to Republican leaders and the man who may be president next year, but we aren’t allowed to know who they are.
It’s one of the many oddities of the Romney campaign: he likes to talk about transparency, but his reality doesn’t match his rhetoric.