But the presumptive Republican nominee didn't finalize his decision until Aug. 1—the day after he returned from his rocky overseas trip to Europe and Israel. In a meeting with Myers at his vacation home in Wolfeburo, N.H., Romney told his top aide he had settled on Ryan, with whom he had bonded when the two campaigned together ahead of the Wisconsin primary in April. He asked Myers to arrange a face-to-face meeting with the congressman.
On Aug. 5—the day before Romney began protective pool coverage with this traveling press corps, the campaign arranged for a discreet meeting between Romney and his then-potential VP.
"We gave a lot of thought on how to make this work," Myers said.
The campaign decided to fly Ryan from Chicago's O'Hare airport to Hartford, Conn.-where Myers arranged for him to be picked up by the person least likely to stoke suspicion among reporters trying to break the VP story: Her 19-year-old son, Curt. Driving a rented sports utility vehicle, he ferried Ryan, who was dressed in jeans, a baseball hat and sunglasses, to Myers' home in Brookline, Mass., pulling into the garage so the congressman could exit the car without being seen by the public.
The congressman then had lunch with Myers and her family—as a pared down Secret Service motorcade drove Romney from Wolfeburo to Myers' home. Upon arrival, the presumptive Republican nominee met with Ryan alone in Myers' dining room.
"We talked about the campaign and how it would be run and about how we'd work together if we get the White House, what the relationship would be and how we would interact," Romney told reporters on Saturday. "We talked about our families (and) what this meant for them, the challenge it meant."
Ryan accepted the job, and Romney headed back to New Hampshire, having successfully avoided media detection for 90 minutes. But before Ryan left, tragedy struck back home in his district, where a gunman opened fire at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek. Ryan quickly issued a statement on the shooting—not mentioning he was nowhere near Capitol Hill or in Wisconsin.
On Monday, Romney began reaching out to the VP hopefuls he rejected, including former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty-who was the first to learn from Romney that he was not his VP pick. At the same time, Romney aides began planning a vice presidential announcement in New Hampshire for Friday—plans that were scuttled at the last minute when Wisconsin officials announced a memorial for members of the Sikh temple shooting that Ryan couldn't miss.
According to Myers, Romney aides moved quickly to find another spot—settling on the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk—a site that was an obvious hint to the press corps, according to Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom, but failed to gain notice. On Friday, the campaign flew the Ryans into the Elizabeth City airport—hoping the airport was small enough that no one would spot Ryan and recognize him.
Both Ryan and Romney landed around 6pm--Ryan in North Carolina and Romney in Virginia. Myers, who was on the plane with Romney, told reporters she was going to visit family in the area, but instead drove to Elizabeth City, where she and the Ryans ate take-out from Applebee's for dinner in their rooms at a local Fairfield Inn.
Shortly after 11pm on Friday, the campaign publicly announced Romney would unveil his VP on Saturday morning. Her job finished, Myers turned off her phone and promptly went to sleep.