Dickerson: Romney Utah fundraising gathering is "a unity moment"


(CBS News) Mitt Romney's upcoming gathering of Republican heavyweights in Utah serves as a "unity moment" for the party's presumptive presidential nominee, CBS News political director John Dickerson said.

"It's kind of a mix between a shareholders meeting and a renewal of vows," Dickerson said on "CBS This Morning," adding that the three-day gathering at the Deer Valley resort in Park City is "a unity moment" that allows Romney to "bring in all of these people who might have supported other candidates."

About 700 of Romney's biggest fundraisers are hoping for personal interactions with the candidate this weekend.

"He'll do some stroking of them and thank them for all the good work they have done," Dickerson said.

Asked by host Charlie Rose if this means Republicans have put the divisive primaries behind them, Dickerson said "it says that the top, very wealthy part of the Republican party is united behind him and that is very important for fundraising."

"One of the purposes of this is to give all of these fundraising folks something to talk about when they go to their friends and they can say, you know when I was talking to Gov. Romney by the barbecue grill, he said to me that my energy ideas were brilliant," Dickerson said.

"That gives them a talking point when they are getting money from their friends and it makes them feel important, and that is incredibly important in terms of raising money," he added.

Dickerson said that it has an added value of making donors feel important so they don't public air complaints they might have down the road.

"If anything ever goes wrong in the campaign, they don't want to see one of these people quoted in the paper saying, oh, gosh, things are going wrong. So this makes everybody field loved and that will keep them on board all the way through November," Dickerson said.

Some of the biggest names in the Republican Party, and many of the top contenders to be Romney's running mate, are also coming to Park City: CBS News has confirmed that attendees will include former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Republican strategist Karl Rove, former Reagan chief of staff James Baker, Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone and Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker.