Mitt Romney decided on Paul Ryan on Aug. 1, the day after returning from his trip overseas to the Olympics in London and to Israel and Poland. The candidate and his campaign kept the secret for nine days, according to campaign sources. Romney and Ryan met secretly on August 5th, after the decision had been made and just before Romney submitted to round-the-clock coverage by reporters who had been traveling with him.
The campaign and Ryan even appear to have employed an elaborate cloak and dagger operation to spirit Ryan and his family, under the noses of reporters staking out the Wisconsin Congressman’s house in Janesville, undetected to Norfolk for Saturday’s announcement.
Ryan was spotted by reporters in his driveway when he came home after the funeral Sikh memorial service for those killed in a tragic shooting in his district last week.
Ryan went to his side door near his garage and was locked out. He said he had left his keys in a staffer’s truck.
He then said he thought his wife was not home. Ryan looked for a way in and a reporter shouted, “Don’t you want to show us where you hide a key under the door mat?” He laughed and said he knew another way and went into his backyard. This is the last time reporters saw him in Janesville on Friday.
How he eluded the press and popped up in Norfolk, Virginia, remains something of a mystery.
In the next three hours, he presumably snuck out of his house or had never entered, sneaking instead out the backyard.
Around 8:30 p.m. local time, a young neighborhood boy knocked on Ryan’s side door and returned to the street disappointed. The boy’s mother walked a dog nearby. This was not the first time this week that the Ryans didn’t answer the door to neighbors. There were many kids coming and going throughout the week.
Did he take that private jet that had arrived earlier in the day? A commercial flight?
At midnight, when it was clear that Romney was going to make his announcement and all the buzz was on Ryan, there were silhouettes of people behind the blinds at Ryan’s house watching the media circus from a 2nd story window. This gave the strong impression that at least his family was still home, which clearly wasn’t the case.
Then the body doubles pulled curtains closed, eliminating the silhouettes.
Throughout the morning there was no movement at the home. A few local police cars rolled by occasionally to gauge the press’s activities.
By this morning ABC’s Jon Karl confirmed Ryan was already in Virginia and the reporters in Wisconsin were eluded.