WOLFEBORO, N.H. — Mitt Romney is on vacation — but not from politics.
The Republican presidential candidate huddled Tuesday with his top advisers, including his campaign manager and the aide overseeing his vice presidential search. His top strategist was in town shooting video for new TV ads.
And Romney himself was set to make his first official public appearance of the week today, marching in this town’s July Fourth parade.
Officially, the campaign said Romney is doing what he’s done for the past decade — enjoying family time during a weeklong holiday at his lakeside estate in New Hampshire.
It’s also a break from the campaign trail, the campaign said, a welcome chance to relax before the pre-convention push. But unofficially, the bit of down time is a chance for the contemplative Romney to consider how the campaign is going against President Barack Obama and adjust strategy as necessary in a contest that polls show is close.
Underscoring the stakes, Obama canceled his own annual summer vacation on Martha’s Vineyard. He did spend the weekend at Camp David and planned to return to Washington for the July Fourth holiday.
Behind the scenes in Wolfeboro, Romney is all but certain to be at work just as much as he is at play, and probably focused on the biggest decision he will make between now and when he accepts the GOP’s presidential nomination in late August.
His self-imposed deadline for picking a running mate “before the convention” is looming large, and the search for a No. 2 is well under way.
His campaign is staying mum on whether that was a topic of conversation Tuesday when he and his wife, Ann, spent at least 45 minutes talking with campaign manager Matt Rhoades, senior adviser Beth Myers and top strategist Stuart Stevens at his lakefront home.
Romney’s five sons also serve as informal political advisers, and all have been on hand all week, virtually assuring that the campaign and the running mate search were discussed.
Speculation about that selection process hung heavy over this New England hamlet.
It was fueled by word that Romney planned to campaign during a parade alongside one GOP rising star for Independence Day, New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, while another senator widely talked about as an attractive running mate, Rob Portman of Ohio, headlined a fundraiser in Concord, N.H., this weekend.