(Photo: REUTERS / Brian Snyder)
U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney greets audience members during a campaign stop in Warwick, Rhode Island, on April 11, 2012.
With the media and the Republican party effectively anointing Mitt Romney as the 2012 Republican Party presidential candidate, Romney has begun looking ahead -- past the end of the Republican primary, past the general election, all the way to inauguration day.
An apparently confident Romney has begun pricing access to his potential inauguration festivities, offering influential donors "preferred status at the first Presidential Inaugural retreat," according to an email obtained by BuzzFeed.
Backers who have given at least $50,000 to the "Romney Victory" campaign, a program that recruits some of Romney's most generous donors, would be named "Founding Members" and gain access to a California retreat with Romney, the Republican nominating convention in Tampa this summer and the inauguration.
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"We know there have been a number of people who have been standing on the sidelines waiting for a nominee to be selected," the email says. "It is now clear who the nominee will be and we will be making every effort to reach out to all those who have yet to give as well as those who previously supported another candidate."
Romney has easily eclipsed his Republican rivals in fundraising, drawing in particular on donations from the financial institutions that have heavily favored Republicans this cycle. The pro-Romney Restore Our Future Super PAC collected $6.4 million from just 98 donors in February, underscoring the clout wealthy individuals can wield.
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