The spy-thriller saga of concealing Mitt Romney's biggest decision of 2012

How Romney Kept Paul Ryan's Pick for VP a Secret

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"I know those woods like the back of my hand," Ryan told reporters Saturday night on Romney's campaign plane. "So it wasn't too hard to walk through them. So I just went out my backdoor went through the gully in the woods I grew up playing in. I walked past the tree that has my own tree fort I built back there."

Ryan's wife and children, meanwhile, had gone to Speth's house while reporters were with Ryan at the memorial service.

More: How Paul Ryan Could Ignite the GOP Base

Instead of flying out of Milwaukee or Chicago Friday, Ryan was whisked to the airport in Waukegan, Ill., where a private plane was waiting to take Ryan and his family to Elizabeth City, N,C., at 5 p.m.

Back in Janesville, Ryan's sister in law spent the day inside Ryan's home -- turning lights on and off and making it appear Ryan and his family remained inside.

Ryan, his family, Myers and a handful of top aides spent Friday night at the Fairfield Inn in Elizabeth City, where they ordered take-out from Applebees for dinner.

As the campaign announced the vice presidential announcement would happen the next morning, Myers turned off her phone and went to bed. With a single Secret Service agency along, Ryan and others drove, unnoticed, to the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk for the announcement.

Although Romney did not meet with any of the other candidates to discuss being a running mate, Myers said she met with some of the finalists during a big June fundraiser at Park City, Utah.

Myers would not say with whom she met, but several potential candidates were there, including Condoleezza Rice, John Thune and Tim Pawlenty.

While most of the candidates not chosen were informed on Thursday, Pawlenty got early notice: Romney called him on Monday to tell him he would not be his running mate.

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