Mitt Romney can’t be trusted.

During this month’s presidential campaign, the billionaire Republican couldn’t be trusted to tell the truth about his hidden off-shore bank accounts; he couldn’t be trusted to come clean about buying companies, gutting them, and firing thousands of employees for his own personal gain, and he certainly can’t be trusted while meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House on Thursday.

Obama graciously extended an olive branch to the man he defeated on Nov. 6, knowing that Romney orchestrated a campaign based largely on deception and lies.

“The president noted that Gov. Romney did a terrific job running the Olympics and that that skills set lends itself to ideas that could make the federal government work better, which is a passion of the president’s,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Thursday after the meeting.

Romney is all smiles now – at least in public — after a crushing and bitter defeat. Obama won the popular vote by about 3.5 million votes, or 3 percent, and won the Electoral College by a wide margin, 332-206 electoral votes.

It must have been hard for Romney to walk into the White House on Thursday. By all accounts, Romney took his loss very badly. His wife, Ann, was reportedly reduced to tears and aides described Romney as being “shellshocked” on Election Night.

Because Romney was over-confident, he only prepared one speech on Election Night – a victory speech  — because he never thought he’d lose the race for the White House to America’s first black president.

Romney entered the White House Thursday not as President-Elect as he had hoped, but as a disgraced loser who claims he wants to help move America forward. The lunch with Obama– white turkey chili and Southwestern grilled chicken salad — comes as Obama is negotiating with Congress to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes.

It’s hard to imagine Romney bringing anything useful to the table. Romney has already told the American people exactly who is and what he stands for –and it was completely unintentional.

During the campaign, on a secret video, Romney was caught telling a group of wealthy donors that “47 percent” of Obama’s supporters are “victims” who mooch off the system and don’t care about personal responsibility.

And days after the election, Romney again went off-script telling another group of rich supporters that Obama  won re-election because of the “gifts” he had already provided to blacks, Hispanics and young voters and because of the president’s effort to paint Romney as anti-immigrant.

“The president’s campaign, if you will, focused on giving targeted groups a big gift,” Romney said in a call to donors. “He made a big effort on small things.”

And now, after meeting with Obama, Romney wants Americans to believe that he actually cares about people who are struggling to make ends meet?

I don’t buy it. Not for one minute.

Romney wants to remain relevant even in defeat. He still considers himself a leader, but he’s just a wealthy businessman who is only interested in his bottom line.

What’s Romney’s end game? Perhaps it’s basking in the spotlight, even if it’s fading fast.

I doubt if Romney really wanted to be president anyway. He may have wanted the power of the office and the notoriety that comes with the job, but I question whether Romney wanted to roll up his sleeves and do the people’s business.

Still, Obama should be commended for taking the high road.

“He [Romney] presented some ideas during the course of the campaign that I actually agree with,” Obama said after the election.  “There are a lot of ideas that I don’t think are partisan ideas but are just smart ideas about how can we make the federal government more customer-friendly.”

Perhaps the president is right, but Romney is probably washed up in American politics. Republicans no longer take him seriously and Obama is being honorable by keeping an Election Night promise.

Meanwhile, Romney should stick to analyzing spreadsheets and stay away from people. He’s spent the past three weeks at his family’s Southern California home and he’s made no public appearances.

And after meeting with Obama on Thursday, Romney walked away from the White House claiming to be concerned about public service when he’s always savored his private life.

Now Romney can enjoy enough privacy to last a lifetime.

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