Mitt Romney delayed conceding the 2012 election to President Barack Obama, even with the writing on the wall. Once he admitted defeat, however, his campaign went into shutdown mode, quickly dismantling and even canceling the credit cards of campaign aides late on election night.
NBC's Garrett Haake described the abrupt transition of the Romney campaign after the GOP nominee gave his brief concession speech:
From the moment Mitt Romney stepped off stage Tuesday night, having just delivered a brief concession speech he wrote only that evening, the massive infrastructure surrounding his campaign quickly began to disassemble itself.
Aides taking cabs home late that night got rude awakenings when they found the credit cards linked to the campaign no longer worked.
"Fiscally conservative," one Romney campaign staffer told NBC.
Although Romney's staffers' credit cards were canceled, there are still loose ends to tie up. Papers need to be filed with federal commissions and bills need to be paid, Forbes' Helaine Olen notes.
That staff also has to deal with the wrath of Romney donors, who allege they were disillusioned by the chances the Republican party had to win.
On Wednesday, Romney had a post-defeat breakfast with some of his wealthiest and most loyal donors. At the private gathering, the donors allegedly unloaded on Romney staff for its failed "junior varsity operation."
“Everybody feels like they were a bunch of well-meaning folks who were, to use a phrase that Governor Romney coined to describe his opponent, way in over their heads,” one member of the campaign’s national finance committee told the Washington Post's Philip Rucker. “Romney World will fade into the obscurity of a lot of losing campaigns.”
Republican pundits also answered to those donors.
Karl Rove's Crossroads allegedly called the campaign's biggest donors to explain the loss on Thursday, according to Politico. “Obviously, somebody made a mistake and didn’t do things right. There’s no question about that,” Stan Hubbard, a Minnesota media mogul and mega-donor, told Politico's Ken Vogel.
On Tuesday night, Romney thanked his staff in his concession speech.
"To the team across the country -- the volunteers, the fundraisers, the donors, the surrogates -- I don’t believe that there’s ever been an effort in our party that can compare with what you have done over these past years," he said. "Thank you so very much."