While Karl Rove was battling Fox News' own Decision Desk over the network's calling Ohio -- and thus the presidency -- for President Obama, Mitt Romney had given up. Four planes were ready to fly to swing states in case of recounts, The New York Times reports, and aides had pre-packed bags. At 11:30 p.m., campaign staff in Ohio, Virginia, and Florida called Boston headquarters, saying it was too close to call for Romney to concede. And Romney's aides reportedly had been appealing to Rove that the Fox News call on Ohio was premature. But Romney shut everything down. "It’s not going to happen," he said, according to The Times. The paper writes, "As Ann Romney cried softly, he headed down to deliver his speech, ending his second, and presumably last, bid for the White House."
The Times story is full of other great campaign details, like that Obama disdained Romney, and the Romney campaign knew it and used that to its advantage in the first presidential debate. "They think there’s something intellectually inferior there," Romney's chief strategist Stuart Stevens said.