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GOP: Pushing a different tone

“The fractious GOP hierarchy seems to have finally settled on a message when it comes to President Barack Obama: take a deep breath and don’t take the bait,” Politico’s Martin writes. Overtly in speeches and more subtly with their actions, GOP leaders and potential 2016 presidential candidates are sending a message to their party that it ought not let itself be radicalized by Obama’s ambitious and decidedly left-leaning second-term agenda.” More: “Following condemnation of the president’s liberalism, the would-be GOP standard-bearers are imploring conservatives to not just oppose Obama but devise an agenda of their own that they can present to voters. These Republicans, it seems, are dreading a replay of the past four years in which a triumphant Obama win leads to a conservative backlash at the polls in 2014 but the party is then tranquilized into believing it can win gold in the next presidential cycle by doing nothing but loudly opposing the administration.”

Not everyone’s gotten the message on toning down the rhetoric. Here was Mia Love at the National Review Institute Summit in DC Sunday, per National Journal: "We need to remind everyone that the GOP was originally formed to end slavery… We're trying to end slavery from the federal government.”

The Boston Globe went to the scene of Mitt Romney’s appearance in DC Friday: “The luncheon, meant to honor Romney and his wife, Ann, took place just blocks away from the White House, where President Obama was continuing to assemble his staff for the next term. Bleachers constructed for the inauguration parade were still set up outside, and the official inauguration store – selling Obama hats, shirts, and mugs – was next door. But Romney, who has remained out of the public eye, did not permit media of coverage of his trip. His staff said he was not available for an interview. The hotel, where many events and conferences are held, cordoned off the entrance with red velvet ropes and stationed guards at the door to block anyone from entering the lobby.”

More: “While the group of Romney supporters dined on either salmon or filet mignon, Romney told them that he had kept a low-profile since the campaign but planned to be politically active in helping get Republican candidates elected in 2013, 2014, and 2016, according to a source who attended the lunch and requested anonymity because the function was supposed to be private. Romney wasn’t specific about which candidates he would help and in what way, the source said, and it remains to be seen how active other Republicans want Romney to be following a losing campaign that many have criticized. Still, those who attended the luncheon included some of the top Republican power-brokers. Among them were Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, Senator John McCain of Arizona, and former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. There were also several former senators -- Jon Kyl of Arizona, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, and Gordon Smith of Oregon – as well as former diplomat C. Boyden Gray.”

Per Politico, Romney said he won’t attempt to win office again. “We lost, but I’m not going away,” he said. “I will continue to help.”

More: “‘[Romney] explained that he had been out of the news and that was purposeful,’ said the source in the room. ‘He didn’t want to say something on the fiscal cliff and have the president use that as a wedge between the speaker and the minority leader… He said it wasn’t going to last for long and that he was going to come back and start talking about the things that matter to him.’”