VA Store Owner Mourns Obama Reelection, Closes Store For a Day

Tuesday’s presidential election result caused a Virginia jeweler to close his store for a day.
(Photo – WDBJ7.com)

After Tuesday night’s election outcome, R.T. Lyons, a grief-stricken jeweler in Bedford, Virginia, chose not to open his store the next day. He taped signs to his store windows explaining why

BEDFORD Va.—
The owner of a Bedford jewelry store is explaining his decision to “mourn” the outcome of Tuesday’s Presidential election.

R.T. Lyons, owner of Lyons Jewelry, closed his business Wednesday and posted signs in his windows that read: “Closed to mourn the loss of the America that our forefathers endowed to us.”

I just didn’t feel like coming to work,” Lyons said Thursday. …

Lyons said he was experiencing feelings of grief. He believes Barack Obama’s second term will bring an end to capitalism in the United States and ultimately hurt his business.

Lyons said he believes the President is trying to undermine the principals of free enterprise that were established by America’s founding fathers. He worries that Obama will raise taxes on the wealthy people who patronize his jewelry store.

“I’m in the luxury business,” Lyons said. “I deal with more expensive items.”

Although he didn’t support Obama in 2008, Lyons said he was hoping the President could be successful. He was “excited” about the possibility of a Romney presidency, due to the Republican candidate’s background in business.

I’m sure people who are community organizers are excited (Obama) is in the White House,” Lyons said. “I was thinking I would be excited about a businessman in the White House.”

Lyons said his decison to close was not a ploy to attract attention to his business.

I didn’t want to be happy and wait on people that day,” said Lyons. “I think I was in a period of mourning yesterday and it was good for me. I went through the process. I don’t know how many steps there are, but I went through them yesterday.”

Mr. Lyons, we can relate.

UPDATE – ‘The Mourning After’ Man flies flags half-staff after election

Follow Jayde Wyatt on Twitter @YayforSummer

Newspaper Endorsements Unceasing, PRAISE for Romney/Ryan: OH, WI, IA, IL, OR, FL, MA, VA

(Photographer unknown)

They just keep coming…

Newspaper editorial boards across the USA believe in Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Give yourself a little time to read the many endorsements given for our guys the last few days. It’s a real treat.

Additional endorsements may be read here, here, and here.

Cincinnati Enquirer (OH)
EditorialThey just keep coming! Carve out a little time to read these many, fantastic endorsements. Help us share the news, too!
October 28, 2012

http://goo.gl/VZyxd

Presidential Endorsement: Mitt Romney

The No.1 issue in our region and our nation today is how to recharge our economy and get more people working in good-paying jobs. President Barack Obama has had four years to overcome the job losses of the Great Recession he inherited, but the recovery has been too slow and too weak. It’s time for new leadership from Mitt Romney, a governor and business leader with a record of solving problems.
….
Romney’s experience as a chief executive, business leader and governor position him to be the best candidate to lead us into a new era of streamlined but effective government with a renewed focus on maintaining America as the world’s leading economy. The best indicator of how Romney would lead is his record as governor. There we have evidence of a Romney who governs more moderately than he was forced to campaign in the long runup to the presidential election.
….
He came into office in 2003 facing an immediate budget shortfall of $450 million and projections of much worse. It was Massachusetts’ worst recession in decades. Romney’s approach was businesslike, and he didn’t spare any sacred cows. He made deep cuts in local government funding and to education. He didn’t raise state taxes, but he increased fees for many government services, which raised hundreds of millions. He took heat from businesses for closing loopholes that saved them money but cost the state revenue. He blocked companies from transferring intellectual property to out-of-state shell companies, and he barred banks and other companies from avoiding taxes by paper restructuring. The bottom line: He erased the deficit in Massachusetts (which was required by state law) and left office with a $600 million surplus. He replenished the state’s reserve fund two years into his term, pushing it to $2 billion by the time he left office in 2007.

Romney’s plans for recovery revolve around the economic principles of reducing government regulation, cutting corporate taxes and opening more global markets. It’s an approach consistent with who Mitt Romney is – a businessman and a moderate conservative who doesn’t believe so much in government’s making things happen as he does in lifting government interference so they can happen.

If Romney can stabilize and expand the U.S. economy, his greatest foreign policy contribution could be employing reinvigorated U.S. economic muscle to influence the global economy. This is a precarious time for America. We’d expect a President Romney to lead toward the center, to resist the calls for a hard turn to the right that are sure to come from within his party. Romney has accomplished progress with divided government – the Massachusetts General Court (the state’s Legislature) is overwhelmingly Democratic. The gridlock in D.C. is entrenched, and we’d urge him to make a priority of finding the common ground and using his leadership to forge compromise, coalitions and solutions. Romney as president should stay true to who he is – a moderate leader who can work with the left and right, with business and with government, and who will set an example, both as an individual and as the leader of the United States of America.



The Lima News (OH)
Editorial
October 28, 2012

http://www.limaohio.com

The Lima News Endorses Mitt Romney
..
Obama swept into office in 2008 promising hope and change. But change has come too slowly, and for too many people, hope surrendered to despair long ago.

That is why Lima News is calling for a change of leadership and is endorsing Republican Mitt Romney for president.

We have little confidence that Obama would be anymore successful given another four-year term. Our memory of a euphoric Obama who energized this country four years ago is now replaced by the picture of a slumping president, tired and defensive, during his first debate with Romney.

Today, family incomes are down. The middle class is shrinking and poverty is growing. College students are graduating deep in debt with questionable job opportunities.

At the same time, the government continues to take on more debt. It just wracked up its fourth straight 13-figure shortfall. During Obama’s four years the debt has grown to more than $5 trillion. He now believes the only way to trim the deficit is by raising taxes on the wealthy and eliminating tax breaks.

We feel Romney’s solid resume in the private sector will help here. He understands that reviving the economy and repairing the government’s balance sheet are things that need to happen now, not four years in the future. His five-point plan calls for raising revenue through business expansions — definitely not new taxes — and reducing spending.

Romney has the added benefit of likely dealing with a friendlier Congress. At least one chamber, if not both, are expected to favor Republicans. It is imperative the president and Congress work together. Two years ago, Congress recommended a bipartisan 10-year, $4 trillion deficit-reduction plan, only to be snubbed by Obama, who had his own, less ambitious plan.



Green Bay Press-Gazette (WI)
Editorial
October 28, 2012

http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com

We Recommend Romney For President

Four years ago, when Barack Obama was elected president, he campaigned on a message of hope and change
.

Many hoped he could bring change for a nation weary of two wars, a nation beset by a mortgage crisis and Wall Street scandal, and, most importantly, a nation whose economic future was so uncertain that massive government bailouts were needed.

However, four years later, the economy hasn’t rebounded. In fact, some say it’s worse, with high unemployment numbers, a trillion-dollar deficit, an even bigger national debt and uncertainty in the business world over the future of our economy. Poverty has increased, the median household income has dropped, and some have given up looking for work.

This nation cannot wait four more years to see if Obama’s policies will work. It needs to turn to someone who has a proven track record in the business community and will offer the steady hand to a teetering economy.

For that reason, the Green Bay Press-Gazette is endorsing Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who we believe is the best choice to turn around the U.S. economy. We believe the Republican candidate’s experience as CEO of Bain Capital, governor of Massachusetts and work with the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City will be assets to turning around the economy.

Romney’s five-point jobs proposal looks to strengthen the middle class by creating 12 million jobs in his first term. Romney aims to reach this ambitious goal by achieving energy independence by 2020, expanding trade, improving education, cutting the deficit and helping small businesses.

Romney proposes 20 percent cuts in the marginal tax rate for individuals, which would reduce the top bracket from 35 to 28 percent, and cut the corporate tax rate from 35 to 28 percent. He would get rid of the death tax and the Alternative Minimum Tax. He would eliminate taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains for those earning less than $200,000.

Romney would cut the deficit with smaller government and addressing the national debt. The deficit was at $1.09 trillion as of Sept. 30, according to the Congressional Budget Office, which is a slight drop from the $1.3 trillion deficit Obama faced when he took office. He had pledged in February 2009 to “cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office.”

Despite all this, we can’t we can’t ignore the state of the economy today. It is the overriding factor in people’s lives. How they pay for health care, how they pay for their mortgage, how they pay the bills, how they pay for retirement are all chief concerns that need to be answered. They are concerns that cut across are classes and are paramount in deciding who should be in the White House.

How long can Obama blame his predecessor for the current financial woes without taking any responsibility for some of the economic duress and gridlock? At some point, the problems a president inherits become his problems if he hasn’t been able to solve them.

At that point, then, we need someone else in the White House who can solve them. We believe that person is Mitt Romney.


MUCH more! Click here.

Hurricane Sandy: Romney Campaign Bus in VA Will Deliver Supplies

Mitt Romney’s campaign bus in Arlington, VA will be used to deliver supplies to those affected in the area by Hurricane Sandy. Oct 28, 2012 (Photographer unknown)

Due to the impending threat from Hurricane Sandy, Governor Mitt Romney cancelled campaign events over the weekend scheduled to take place in Virginia and New Hampshire. He joined Congressman Paul Ryan on the campaign trail in swing-state Ohio. (For today’s events, click on our Mitt Calendar.) The Romney campaign is calling for emergency supply donations to be brought to his Victory offices in Virginia. Romney’s bus will used to deliver supplies to those affected by the hurricane in that area.

Tweets tell the story! (Included are messages from Emily Friedman, ABC producer/digital reporter covering Governor Romney’s campaign, Rachel Streitfeld, CNN political producer, also covering the campaign, and Mitt and Ann Romney):

Late last night, Romney also sent out the following email:

Tonight, Ann and I are keeping the people in Hurricane Sandy’s path in our thoughts and prayers.

I hope that if you can, you’ll reach out to your neighbors who may need help getting ready for the storm — especially your elderly neighbors. And if you can give of your resources or time, please consider supporting your local Red Cross organization — visit www.redcross.org to get involved.

For safety’s sake, as you and your family prepare for the storm, please be sure to bring any yard signs inside. In high winds they can be dangerous, and cause damage to homes and property.

I’m never prouder of America than when I see how we pull together in a crisis. There’s nothing that we can’t handle when we stand together.

Stay safe and God Bless,

Mitt Romney

UPDATE: Governor Romney has cancelled all campaign events for the remainder of today and tomorrow.

Thanks, Team Romney, for your leadership and taking action to help!

MRC is keeping those in the storm’s path in our thoughts and prayers.

Follow Jayde Wyatt on Twitter @YayforSummer

Gov Christie Inspires Voters: “Romney/Ryan Are The Way to Fix This Broken Country”

Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) is pictured showing his support for Mitt Romney while campaigning with the former MA Governor and his wife, Ann Romney, in Iowa, December 29, 2011. (Photo – Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty)

What a powerhouse!

New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie flew yesterday into crucial swing-state Virginia to rock the vote for Romney/Ryan. The crowd gathered at Ball Office Products in Richmond were given a walloping treat. After Romney’s VA campaign manager, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling warmed up the crowd, Christie owned the lectern.

A few highlights (and there were many!):

Christie said the message he got coming out of the Democrat’s National Convention was – their words – “Government is the only thing we all belong to.” He replied that even in blue state New Jersey, “We were taught we don’t belong to government; the government belongs to us.”

The New Jersey Gov also reminded listeners of another recent belief Obama revealed: “You can’t change Washington D.C. from the inside.” Christie asked, “If he really believes that, then what the he*# is he doing asking for another four years?” He says Obama is asking for another four years to figure it out. His response to Obama’s plea? “You know what, Mr. President? I’m tired of waiting for you to figure it out!

@9:04:

He’d [Obama] never run anything in his life. And so the President doesn’t know how to lead. I mean watch what he’s been like for the past four years. He’s like a man wandering around a dark room, hands up against the wall, clutching for the light switch of leadership, and he just can’t find it. And, he won’t find it in the next 18 days! Blindly, blindly, walking around the White House… looking for a clue – looking for a clue.”

And you, know, the unfortunate thing for the President is this – is that there are clues everywhere – if he’d just open his eyes.

America, are you listening? Kick back and SOAK THIS UP:

@11:50:

I heard the President the other night in the debate say “Governor Romney says that I want a bigger government and that’s just not true. (laughter) Well, Governor Romney is not the guy who has run up SIX TRILLION dollars in new debt in four years as president. Governor Romney is not the one that has created new boards, commissions, czars, all over government that he’s paying millions and millions and millions of dollars to of our money to try and manipulate more and more things in the private economy, to try to get his desired result. And let me tell ya, Mitt Romney is not the guy who is looking to take money away from hard-working Americans and redistributing it across the country based on the government’s plan. He thinks the American PEOPLE should be able to decide how to spend their own money – not the government.

@ 12:42:

A few Sundays ago, before the first debate, Governor Romney asked me to go on all those Sunday morning shows for him. And you might remember back then, a couple of days before the first debate, the campaign wasn’t flying high. People were feeling a little nervous about how the campaign was going and what the last month of the campaign would look like. So they asked me to go on all those shows and deal with all those feisty hosts. (laughter) I don’t know why they picked me. (laughter and applause) And, so they asked me – Bob Schieffer, George Stephanopoulos, David Gregory – they all asked me “Well, what’s gonna happen, Governor Christie, on Wednesday at the debate, what’s gonna happen at Governor Romney’s campaign? How can it possibly turn around? Isn’t the race really over?” And I said to them, “You wait. You wait until Wednesday night ‘cuz Mitt Romney is gonna win that debate and turn this race UPSIDE DOWN. “

Mitt Romney is better prepared, smarter, and more ready for the presidency , and I knew he’d show ‘em that in those debates and he sure did!

NJ Gov Chris Christie ditched his suit jacket and launched into facts about Obama’s lack of leadership and praise for Mitt Romney in front of the crowd at Ball Office Products in Henrico county, Richmond, VA. Oct 19,2012 (Photo – Jim Nolan:Time)

@21:48 Christie quotes John Adams:

John Adams was near his death and this is what he wrote in his diary – and he wrote it for us, he wrote it for us. And, this is what he said: “You shall never know the sacrifices that we have made to secure for you your liberty. Make a good use of it. For if you do not, I shall repent in heaven for ever having made the sacrifices at all.”

Very inspiring!

Christie challenged voters in Virginia to to give an hour a day for the remaining days leading up to and including November 6th to preserve our constitutional freedoms and help Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan win. Contact Romney Campaign Headquarters in Virginia. Christie’s call to take our country back applies to all of us. Will YOU give an hour a day to preserve liberty? Can you do more? Get yourself in gear here!

THANK YOU, Governor Christie!

Follow Jayde Wyatt on Twitter @YayforSummer

Amid Autumn’s Heated Campaign, Do Romney/Ryan Families Find Time to Chill?

With the Romney’s attending church today in Belmont, MA and the Governor spending time preparing for Tuesday’s presidential debate, I thought it might be relaxing for Romney/Ryan supporters to look back on the week. Let’s see if the Romney and Ryan families are finding time amid the heated campaign to enjoy October, a bit of Mother Nature’s beauty, and just chill…

Kick off your shoes and take your time.

Here’s an autumn Romney/Ryan photo essay

With cold rain falling in sheets, Governor Mitt Romney rallied stalwart supporters at a campaign event in Newport News, Virginia. Oct 8, 2012 (photographer unknown)


The chill in the air didn’t stop the crowd from coming to see GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaign amid the hay bales in Van Meter, Iowa. Oct 9, 2012 (Photo – Evan Vucci/AP)


GOP VP candidate Paul Ryan and wife Janna size up pumpkins for just the right jack-o-lantern at the Apple Holler Pumpkin Patch in Sturtevant, Wisconsin. Oct 7, 2012 (Photo – Mary Altaffer/AP)


October 11, 2012 – Ann Romney writes, “Bought Craig some vanilla fudge at Kilwins in Sarasota today. Can you believe he doesn’t like chocolate?!” (photographer unknown)


Janna Ryan (left) watches as her husband, Paul Ryan helps his daughter, Liza, dip a caramel apple. Ryan’s other children, Charlie and Sam, eagerly await their turn. (Photo – Mary Altaffer/AP)


Paul Ryan indulges in a fall rite of passage – the tailgate party! He’s pictured loading his plate at the Bowling green University vs Miami University of Ohio football game in Ohio. Oct 13, 2012 (Photo – Mary Altaffer/AP)


Paul Ryan makes a toss in a game with son Charlie before a football game at Doyt Perry Stadium in Bowling Green, Ohio. Oct 13, 2012 (Photo – Sentinel-Tribune, Enoch Wu/AP)


Ann Romney, bundled up to stay warm, took a detour on the way from Hudsonville, Michigan to the Detroit suburb of Franklin to visit the Peanut Shop in downtown Lansing. She bought some trick-or-treat goodies including cashews and cinnamon almonds she said were Mitt’s favorite. She also picked up some ‘sour jelly pumpkins’ for the grandchildren. Yum! The Detroit News quoted her saying “I love it here.” Oct 12, 2012 (Photo – AP)


At The Peanut Shop in Lansing, Michigan, Ann Romney takes time to greet sisters Jenna, left, whom she wished a happy 4th birthday, and Audrey Carrier. Oct 12, 2012 (Photo Dale G. Young/The Detroit News)

Did you happen to see Ann co-host on Good Morning America last week?

Standing in front of a backdrop of straw bales, pumpkins, and a tractor, Ann Romney speaks with supporters at the Franklin Cider Mill in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She spent the day campaigning through the state. (Photo – Charles V. Tines/The Detroit News)

There’s more! Click here.

Romney’s Foreign Policy Speech (VIDEO, full text): Confidence, Clarity, Resolve

Mitt Romney delivers a foreign policy speech at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, VA., today, Oct 8, 2012. (Photo – Charles Dharapak/AP)

In a sweeping critique of Obama’s lead-from-behind foreign policy, Governor Mitt Romney today delivered a powerful, robust foreign policy speech at the Virginia Military Institute. Speaking of the recent explosion of violence and upheaval in the Middle East, Romney said it is “time to change course in the Middle East.”

Punctuating his national security positions before his next presidential debate on October 16th with Obama (foreign policy will be the topic), Romney said, “That course should be organized around these bedrock principles: America must have confidence in our cause, clarity in our purpose and resolve in our might. No friend of America will question our commitment to support them… no enemy that attacks America will question our resolve to defeat them… and no one anywhere, friend or foe, will doubt America’s capability to back up our words.”

Foreign policy expert and columnist, K.T. McFarland, today on television program ‘The Five’ (FOX News) enthusiastically exclaimed, ”I’ve been waiting 20 years for this speech! He [Romney] was channeling Reagan!” She also went on to say Romney’s “speech was actually really phenomenal and I commend him for doing it!” (MccFarland served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs under President Ronald Reagan from 1982 to 1985 and speech writer for Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger.)

‘The Mantel of Leadership’:


Transcript:

I particularly appreciate the introduction from my good friend and tireless campaign companion, Gov. Bob McDonnell. He is showing what conservative leadership can do to build a stronger economy. Thank you also Congressman Goodlatte for joining us today. And particular thanks to Gen. Peay. I appreciate your invitation to be with you today at the Virginia Military Institute. It is a great privilege to be here at an Institution that has done so much for our nation, both in war and in peace.

For more than 170 years, VMI has done more than educate students. It has guided their transformation into citizens, and warriors, and leaders. VMI graduates have served with honor in our nation’s defense, just as many are doing today in Afghanistan and other lands. Since the September 11th attacks, many of VMI’s sons and daughters have defended America, and I mourn with you the 15 brave souls who have been lost. I join you in praying for the many VMI graduates and all Americans who are now serving in harm’s way. May God bless all who serve, and all who have served.

Of all the VMI graduates, none is more distinguished than George Marshall—the Chief of Staff of the Army who became Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, who helped to vanquish fascism and then planned Europe’s rescue from despair. His commitment to peace was born of his direct knowledge of the awful costs and consequences of war.

General Marshall once said, “The only way human beings can win a war is to prevent it.” Those words were true in his time—and they still echo in ours.

Last month, our nation was attacked again. A U.S. Ambassador and three of our fellow Americans are dead — murdered in Benghazi, Libya. Among the dead were three veterans. All of them were fine men, on a mission of peace and friendship to a nation that dearly longs for both. President Obama has said that Ambassador Chris Stevens and his colleagues represented the best of America. And he is right. We all mourn their loss.

The attacks against us in Libya were not an isolated incident. They were accompanied by anti-American riots in nearly two dozen other countries, mostly in the Middle East, but also in Africa and Asia. Our embassies have been attacked. Our flag has been burned. Many of our citizens have been threatened and driven from their overseas homes by vicious mobs, shouting “Death to America.” These mobs hoisted the black banner of Islamic extremism over American embassies on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

As the dust settles, as the murdered are buried, Americans are asking how this happened, how the threats we face have grown so much worse, and what this calls on America to do. These are the right questions. And I have come here today to offer a larger perspective on these tragic recent events—and to share with you, and all Americans, my vision for a freer, more prosperous, and more peaceful world.

(more…)

BREAKING: Romney Gains Lead in Virginia

Romney in Virginia

Romney in Virginia

There is a lot of talk in the press about Obama’s post-convention bounce, but perhaps the most overlooked development of the last few days is that Romney, for the first time in the election, has taken the lead in the crucial swing state of Virginia.

Obama won Virginia in 2008 by over 6 percentage points despite its traditionally “red” leanings in the past. But with Virginia moving Romney’s direction, it represents a major development for the presidential campaign.

Virginia is just the latest in a string of swing states that continue to move in Romney’s direction. In particular, Arizona was once thought to be a competitive state for Obama, but has moved firmly into Romney’s column over the last few months.

Other important swing states that keep moving Romney’s direction are Missouri, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Missouri currently shows Romney with a 6 point lead. And North Carolina, the state where Obama’s convention was held, also shows continued momentum for Romney where Romney is up by over 3 points. All of these swing states illustrate the precarious and dangerous environment Obama finds himself in.

So while Obama is undergoing a temporary bounce from his convention, I am reminded of the Republican Primary where competitors rose and fell with great regularity, some in dramatic fashion. Romney knows how to ride out a temporary bump in the polls. And Obama’s bump will be no different.

This is Romney Country — Raise the Banner of Old Glory

Great music! What do conservatives do in Virginia when President Obama comes to town? Check it out to the voice of Randy Travis singing “America Will Always Stand” [Hat Tip to Marty Garff for this video]



American Values: “In God We Trust” — “Liberty” — “E Pluribus Unum”

Twitter Follow: @VicLundquist – Dedicated to all members of The United States military and their families

Former Obama Campaign Co-Chair Hits the Road for Romney

Former Representative Artur Davis (D-Ala.), then Obama’s campaign co-chair, is pictured speaking for the President at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Aug. 27, 2008. (Photo – Paul Sancya / AP)

Once an important part of the political juggernaut that propelled Obama into office in 2008 (campaign co-chair), and a then southern African-American Democrat, Artur Davis has not only left the president in the dust, he’s hitting the road to the White House for Mitt Romney.

Davis will take the Romney/Ryan fight to battleground state Virginia:

A former four-term Democratic congressman from Alabama and one time strong supporter of President Barack Obama will campaign for Mitt Romney Wednesday.

Davis, who is black, may be best known for seconding Obama’s nomination at the Democratic National Convention in 2008, when he served as an Obama campaign co-chairman. Davis said he had hoped Obama’s presidency would make a huge dent in race relations, as well as move the Democratic Party further to the center.

In 2010, Davis made an unsuccessful bid for governor of Alabama. In May he announced he was switching to the GOP, leaving the door open to a future political bid as a Republican.

Davis said in June that he thinks his one time political party was becoming more unwelcoming towards Southern conservative Democrats.

“I think the Obama administration has candidly gone too far to the left. … Davis said on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”

Not only has Obama/Biden gone too far left, they’ve chosen to go beyond the lowest of the low.

Go Artur!

By Eric Allie – Aug 14, 2012



Follow Jayde Wyatt on Twitter @YayforSummer

Paul Ryan… A Tale of Intrigue: How Romney Kept His V.P. Choice Secret

As speculation increased on Mitt Romney’s V.P. choice, the press corps and additional reporters closely monitored potential candidates’ every movement and camped out at their homes. This photo of Paul Ryan’s house shows the surrounding wooded area where, on Friday August 10th, he would quietly slip out the back and through the trees… (Photo Alana Semuels/Los Angeles Times/Aug 11, 2012)

Inquiring minds want to know when Mitt Romney decided his running mate was Paul Ryan and how he kept it under wraps…

Wonder no more; here’s the tale (and what a tale it is!):

MANASSAS, Va. – The story could have been ripped straight from the pages of a Cold War-era spy novel: There were sunglasses and baseball caps, decoys and back routes through the woods.

As presidential candidate Mitt Romney settled on his running mate, Paul Ryan, his campaign over the course of 10 days went to extraordinary lengths to conceal the information and meetings between himself and Ryan from the eyes of an eager press corps.

The search began not long after Romney wrapped up the nomination. On Apr. 16, he announced that Beth Myers, his senior advisor and a longtime aide, would lead his VP search committee. “I had one directive,” Myers said in a briefing with reporters on Saturday evening. “That the candidates must be qualified to take office on day one.”

Working in a secure room at campaign headquarters in Boston, for the next six weeks Myers sought advice from others who had been given the same task in other campaigns: Dick Cheney (his daughter Liz Cheney was also included), and former Secty of State James Baker. By the beginning of May, a small circle of advisors had crafted a short list of ‘possibilities’. Myers won’t say how many were considered, only that “there was never an issue of too few candidates.” After a series of phone calls, Romney had spoken to everyone on the list. Not one refused to be considered for V.P.

Myers and her trusted advisors issued questionnaires to the candidates and tracked research, policy information, public records, etc. All documentation was secretly ensconced in individual safes at Boston campaign headquarters so nothing could be leaked. No photocopies were made. (Note: Just this past Friday, reporters leaving Romney’s campaign headquarters saw a worker wearing a ‘Shred-It’ shirt carry five bags out of the building.)

By mid-June preliminary reports were presented to Governor Romney. Since some issues needed further clarification, he met with several candidates to resolve questions. Myers said Romney talked to a lot of people, consulting with his senior advisors and others. “A lot of people,” Myers said. “He talked with a lot of people.”

On July 2, she gave Romney the completed folders and he began to consider the options before he left on his overseas trip.

By June, Myers was ready to interview the top candidates, and a retreat for top donors in Park City, Utah, provided cover. The short-listers were brought in ostensibly to talk policy with Republican financiers, but also were able to slip away for meetings with Myers.

While Romney was vacationing in Wolfeboro, N.H. during the week of July 4, Myers made the trip north with a few advisors with plans to review the final dossiers. Romney postponed a final decision until after his trip abroad at the end of July, and assembled his top advisors for a final “gut check.” Romney then informed Myers of his choice on Aug. 1.

“This is Mitt’s decision. He gave me direction every step of the way,” said Myers, who said she opted not to share her thoughts with Romney on the advice of an old mentor.

The same day, they placed a call from her office to Ryan to arrange a meeting for Sunday, Aug. 5. Romney had not yet extended an offer.

Operation V.P. now suddenly increased in intrigue and intricacy. The media was closely watching Romney, his advisors, potential candidates’ homes, and tracking any and all comings and goings.

“We gave a lot of thought on how to make this work undetected,” Myers said.

The plot thickens…

Four days later, Ryan traveled to Chicago from his hometown of Janesville, Wis., where he flew from to Hartford, Conn. — both locations chosen to avoid media attention. Having been instructed by the Romney campaign to “dress casually,” he wore jeans, a casual shirt, a baseball hat and sunglasses.

In Hartford, Myers’ 19-year-old son picked Ryan up at the airport in a rented SUV and brought him to her home in Brookline, Mass., about 100 miles away. [The SUV was driven directly into Myers' garage so neighbors would be none the wiser.] A short time later, Romney himself arrived at the house, along with four of his top aides: Ed Gillespie, Matt Rhodes, Bob White, and Spencer Zwick.

While the group entertained itself in Myers’ home, Romney and Ryan met for an hour privately in the dining room. When they came out, Myers said, “It was all set.”

“We talked about the campaign and how it would be run and talked about how we’d work together if we get the White House. What the relationship would be, how we’d interact and be involved in important decisions, but we talked about our families, what this meant for them,” Romney told reporters traveling with him on the plane Saturday night.

After receiving the call to meet with Mitt, Ryan later said he had a hunch he was going to be asked to be the Governor’s running mate. He said accepting the offer was an easy decision because “we’ve got to save the country.” However, as news spread of the shootings at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, located in Ryan’s district, the new V.P. nominee didn’t have much time to think about how his life had just changed. The same day the campaign had decided to roll out the vice presidential pick in New Hampshire was the same day as the funeral service for the victims of the tragic shootings.

As Beth Myers recounted the story, she said this is where the operation got a little complicated:

(more…)