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Romney re-emerges into political arena; first appearance set for Utah

By Richard Piatt | Posted - May 31st, 2013 @ 7:01pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — Mitt Romney is expected to start a series of high-profile appearances again next week.

Romney took about six months off away from the public eye. But now, analysts say Romney's looking for ways to shape the national agenda.

Romney told the Wall Street Journal he plans to re-emerge in ways that will "help shape national priorities."

His first step is at a three-day summit in Deer Valley called Solamere, which will take place from June 4-8 in Park City. Even though he's been out of the spotlight, chances are high that Romney is still sharply critical of President Barack Obama's second term.

Romney told the Wall Street Journal that he plans to be a little "nostalgic" about his campaign next week.

At Deer Valley's Stein Erickson lodge, Romney will start to talk in broad terms about where the national agenda ought to be headed.

He has a powerful and important voice. And I think it's great that he's once again finding that voice.

–Kirk Jowers, Romney advisor

Romney confidante and head of the Hinckley Institute of Politics Kirk Jowers says the topics will likely include the economy and federal deficit.

"He has a powerful and important voice," Jowers said. "And I think it's great that he's once again finding that voice."

The powerful guest list includes a bi-partisan group: Democrats Erskine Bowles — President Clinton's former chief of staff — and President Obama's senior advisor David Axelrod.

Republican power-hitters include former Romney running mate and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., possible presidential hopefuls Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

"So you'll have all the leaders on different areas. And out of that you'll start to feel areas where the country has areas where it can grow that it's missing, and those areas that are really tough issues," Jowers said.

Even though politics is in everything, Jowers says he expects the attention-seeking among presidential hopefuls and partisanship between the participants will be at a minimum.

"And with the bi-partisan(ship) you'll also find out what some of the third rails are, and areas where they can work together, but they just haven't done it yet," Jowers said.

The outcome of this event may be eagerly anticipated, but it's yet another big event that's closed to the public and reporters. It's invitation-only, and the cost is $5,000 for those who are invited.


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