How Romney & Ryan Kept A Secret From The Press

ABC News’s Rick Klein tells the story of how the Romney campaign kept the news of the Paul Ryan selection secret, not just for a few hours but for ten days:

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.

But the real cloak and dagger work started yesterday:

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.


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.

Amusing, actually. I’m sure we’ll hear someday how Ryan and his family pulled off this disappearing act, but without knowing the layout of Ryan’s property I’m guessing an escape through the backyard to a waiting generic vehicle is the most likely explanation. I love the added touch of having people inside the house standing in front of the windows till midnight. Especially since, by that time, Ryan and his family were likely comfortably asleep in a hotel somewhere in the Hampton Roads area.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. wr says:

    Oh, yes, I’m certain that Romney made this decision a week ago, well before his poll numbers were dropping and the Tea Partiers were demanding that he prove his right wing cred by picking Ryan.

    Yes, Romney must have made this retroactive pick, just as he retroactively resigned from Bain and retroactively changed his state of residence on years-old tax returns. There’s absolutely no reason not to give him the benefit of the doubt here!

  2. bill says:

    it was easy, they’re not “attention whores”!

  3. C. Clavin says:

    How many years tax returns did Ryan give the Romney campaign for vetting?

  4. al-Ameda says:

    Amazing how nobody saw Ryan tied to the roof of Romney’s Range Rover. People are jaded.