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Tom Murse

Where in the World is Mitt Romney?

By February 20, 2013

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Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney has largely vanished from both the public eye and Washington political scene since losing the 2012 presidential election.

But the former Massachusetts governor has an important date at the nation's largest and most important gathering of conservative Republicans, the Conservative Political Action Conference.

So what does it mean? Is Romney running in 2016?

Related:

Not likely.

Robert Costa, who broke the story of Romney's planned appearance at the CPAC in March on the National Review Online's The Corner blog, noted the event would mark for 2012 Republican presidential nominee's "return to the political scene."

But Romney's friends told Costa the former candidate "has become somewhat restless" and "eager to contribute to the national debate." Romney is expected to talk about the economy, just like he did on the campaign trail. But his speech is said to be "optimistic."

So is Romney's appearance part of a 2016 strategy?

Nah. Not when you consider his reported reluctance to run in 2012.

"He wanted to be president less than anyone I've met in my life," Romney's son Tagg Romney told the Boston Globe in December 2012. "If he could have found someone else to take his place . . . he would have been ecstatic to step aside."

No, a senior Romney aide told CBS News the former governor's appearance at the CPAC in March "is an opportunity for him to express his appreciation to supporters and friends."

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