After losing a bruising presidential campaign, most aides take a vacation. A few nervous nellies begin looking for work with other politicians.
But Bay Buchanan, a top Mitt Romney lieutenant who's been involved in politics ever since serving as treasurer of Ronald Reagan's 1980 campaign, saw last November's loss as a signal to get out of presidential politics.
"It was so tough. It was brutal," she said of the loss to President Obama. "I think it's the toughest because we really expected to win it," added Buchanan, a former Treasurer of the United States who also ran her brother Pat's three campaigns for president.
"I thought to myself in November, I have another career in me," Buchanan said. So two days after the election, she started an online real estate course and now has her sales license and a firm: McEnearney Associates Inc. in McLean, Va.
Buchanan told Secrets that she will soon have her Maryland and District licenses too. "I've lived in all three," said the Washington native.
A lifer in politics, Buchanan said her background will help sell and negotiate real estate deals. "Being somebody that they kind of know will be a real positive and, as you know, I'm just a charming person," she said. And, she added, "compared to what I did in the past, this is an easy sell."
While Buchanan plans to keep her nose in political issues and will continue to give speeches, her famously combative TV debating days are over for now. "It's so negative and TV is more difficult than ever in the sense that it's really not an honest debate anymore," she said.
"I can't just live my life going on TV and being angry all the time," said Buchanan, author of the well-received recently released book "Bay & Her Boys, Unexpected Lessons I Learned as a (Single) Mom."