With Inauguration Day coming up and the ever-unsettling fact that Donald Trump is about to officially take office, a lot of us are wondering who will show up to witness the start of Trump's presidency. Hillary Clinton will be at the inauguration, in what has to be the hardest case of taking the high road we've ever seen. But what about the man once reportedly vying for the position of secretary of State? Is Mitt Romney at the inauguration? Romney's team hasn't released an official statement regarding the matter. Bustle has also reached out for comment, but did not receive a response by press time.
Romney and Trump have had something of a complicated relationship throughout the election cycle and transition period. While the two men once shared an intimate dinner — and Romney has said he agreed with Trump's cabinet choices thus far — the former governor of Massachusetts and 2012 Republican presidential nominee obviously lost out to Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson for the position of secretary of State.
However, Romney was also once one of Trump's biggest critics, never mincing words when it came to his opinions of the candidate. Addressing the Republican Party in March of 2016, Romney said, "If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished... Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University." Romney attacked everything from Trump's foreign and economic policies to his personality and temperament.
It was somewhat surprising, then, when Romney pulled the switcheroo after the election and joined forces with the man he once so vocally and passionately opposed. But although their dinner left many of us with a lot of questions about Romney's relationship with the incoming administration, womp womp, Tillerson was chosen instead. I imagine it kind of feels like getting dumped.
One final point worth remembering: Romney didn't attend Barack Obama's second inauguration in 2013, and no one really knew why. While other big names had viable reasons for not attending – Oprah had her speaking tour, George Clooney had his international jet-setting — Romney was just... absent. Not to mention that this was the first time since 1989 that a major-party losing candidate was a no-show for an inauguration.
Does this mean Romney RSVP'd no to Trump's inauguration? Not necessarily. Could it go either way? Sure. A growing number of potential attendees are opting out, including more than 50 Democratic lawmakers and many other Democratic politicians who have vowed to boycott the inauguration. However, Trump isn't universally loved by the Republican Party either, judging by the countless Republicans who withdrew support from him, swore they wouldn't vote for him, or even urged him to step down.
But at the same time, Romney also could very well be in attendance. Just as he hasn't made his stance on Trump clear, neither is his stance on the inauguration. Honestly, though, I wouldn't blame him if he suddenly came down with a terrible cold on Friday.