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The Best Form of Flattery

From NBC's Mike Viqueira
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney dropped by the House side this afternoon to give a chat and take some questions from House Republicans. A brief bit of eavesdropping revealed that Romney is, like a lot of people these days, something of a Barack Obama fan

At least three dozen members jammed the small basement meeting room that -- now that they are in the minority -- is the only real estate available to Republicans in the Capitol. It was so crowded, in fact, that the doors were left open and a nosy reporter could observe the gathered politicians in their natural habitat.

Romney stood before them and held forth energetically, fielding questions not only on specific issues like education, but also on his overall vision of the future of the Party. On that last point, he called for a message of "optimism" from Republicans. "Look at Obama," he said by way of example. "What are his issues? He doesn't have any," Romney declared. "His message is simply one of hope, and that is what people are looking for."

Shortly thereafter the door to the room was closed. A top Republican buttonholed on his way out of the meeting was asked if Romney was trying to woo members of the rank-and-file. "Yes, and perhaps it was the other way around, too," he said.