While it's true that the losing party in any presidential race is temporarily leaderless, this time it is at least somewhat different. Here's what I mean by that. First it appears some expect Romney to take the leadership role, even though he lost. This is ridiculous. It's as though they can't accept that he did lose. The loser always spouts platitudes about staying engaged, before they fade away. Romney didn't fade away; he slipped away. Here's something else that's interesting; so did running mate Paul Ryan.
Ryan was seen as a presidential contender for 2012 but stayed out. He was then drafted as running mate and never seemed the reulctant warrior, at least to me; he seemed fully engaged. But he was very reluctant to be at the top of the ticket and it doesn't appear that has changed. You would expect him to be a top contender for 2016, just by virtue of having been on the ticket. But most discussions so far don't have him in the top two or three presidential contenders and he doesn't seem anywhere near taking the mantle as the party's standard bearer. So, is this par for the course for the losing side, or is it more serious than that.
It's probably too early to tell. But if someone doesn't emerge as a Republican leader the Tea Party movement most certainly will attempt to capitalize on the party structure leadership void. And that begs the question; can the TPM produce a standard bearer for the Republican party? In the short-term, the leadership void does put the party at a disadvantage in the "Fiscal Cliff" negotiations. The de facto leader there is Speaker John Boehner. But the reality is he knows his position is weakend by the election results. And how the "Cliff" drama plays out and how Republicans fare, may go a long way toward determing whether Boehner or anybody else will emerge as a party leader