There were so many private jets that one fundraiser joked that tiny Heber City Municipal Airport nearby "looked like an Air Force base."
Romney's political operation seemed to all but shut down and relocate to the mountains of Utah. At least 15 senior campaign figures flew in for what blue-blazered guests from Texas, North Carolina and New York dubbed Republicanpalooza, delivering briefings on the effectiveness of Romney's and Obama's commercials and spinning them through the latest polling data, which they said showed the race as a dead heat.
The Romney campaign offered donors who gave $50,000 or raised $100,000 intimate seminars and discussions featuring leading Republican lights, past and present: Karl Rove, Condoleezza Rice, James Baker III, John McCain and Jeb Bush, whose presence represented a symbolic embrace of a candidate who struggled to win over the disparate elements of his party in the bruising primary.
The Romney campaign took pains to personalize the experience. Arriving guests received beige Vineyard Vines canvas bags embroidered with the campaign slogan "Believe in America." Inside was a Romney-branded navy blue baseball cap and pins that designated donation levels.
For wealthy Romney donors, access that's up close and personal
by Michael Barbaro, New York Times -- 06/23/2012
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