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Romney portrait joins gallery of also-rans

UPI News Service, 01/22/2013 

A portrait of Republican Mitt Romney, the 2012 U.S. runner-up, joined those of 59 other presidential election also-rans Tuesday at a gallery in a Kansas bank.

The GOP presidential nominee's 16-by-20 black-and-white portrait was hung Tuesday in the "They Also Ran Gallery" in the First State Bank in Norton, The Hays (Kan.) Daily News reported.

William Rouse, the bank's former president and owner, began collecting portraits of presidential losers after reading Irving Stone's "They Also Ran." The portraits hang along the bank's mezzanine, bank bookkeeper and gallery curator Lee Ann Shearer said.

"It's something nobody else does," Shearer said. "Memories may fade fast on who had run, but Mr. Rouse thought it was important to honor them."

She told the Daily News, there are spots for only four more portraits unless the gallery does some rearranging.

Romney did not attend President Barack Obama's second inauguration Monday -- and likely didn't watch it on television, either, an aide to the 2012 Republican presidential nominee said.

Romney is the first losing nominee not to attend the inauguration since 1989, when Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis didn't attend George H.W. Bush's swearing in. However, all the losing candidates in that time held federal office at the time of the inaugurals, so they would have been in Washington for the occasion in any case, political analysts have noted.

The only exception was 1996 GOP nominee Bob Dole, who had left the U.S. Senate before losing to incumbent President Bill Clinton, but still attended Clinton's second inauguration.

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