Political Animal


August 12, 2012 12:00 PM The Boys on the Bus Got Lazy

By Elon Green

I tried (I swear!) to abstain from a fourth Paul Ryan item, but this is too good to resist. The story of the morning is how the Romney campaign managed to keep the selection of Ryan a secret. The operatives are obviously pleased with themselves because they’re talking to anyone who will listen. As Michael Calderone noted last night, “News orgs simultaneously publish stories about Romney camp outwitting media with Ryan pick — details of which were provided by Romney camp. “

Read ‘em and weep:

— “Inside the VP Pick: How Romney Decided On Ryan - and Kept the Secret” (TIME)

— “Ryan’s path to Romney’s No. 2 was steeped in secrecy” (Reuters)

— “The Inside Story Of How Mitt Romney Chose Paul Ryan And Kept It A Secret” (Buzzfeed)

— “Ryan selection shrouded in secrecy” (AP)

— “How Romney Kept Paul Ryan’s Pick for VP a Secret” (ABC News)

— “When Mitt Romney settled on Paul Ryan and how he kept it a secret” (Washington Post)

Even Calderone’s own publication, The Huffington Post, got in on the action: “Paul Ryan, Vice President Pick, Disguises And Hikes Through The Woods.”

This ought to be embarrassing for everyone involved. You got played.

Anyway, this has been a pleasure. Until we meet again, feel free to shoot me an email or find me on Twitter.


  • martin on August 12, 2012 12:17 PM:

    All of the descriptions end up sounding like a secret gay rendez-vous. Who is this supposed to impress, other than the wide-eyed boys on the bus?

  • TCinLA on August 12, 2012 12:22 PM:

    Do you actually think any of those otherwise-unemployable MORONS have the brains to know they got played? Did their "sources" give them donuts with sprinkles?

    Oh, and I figured out it was Face the Nation giving Newtie his "props" this morning. Surprise surprise, Viacom News strikes again.

  • c u n d gulag on August 12, 2012 12:28 PM:

    The reason the press was so surprised by the quick pick of Ryan, is that I think Mitt was equally surprised when he was told he had to make Ryan his pick only a few days ago.

    All of the rest the bullsh*t is smoke and mirrors, trying to make Mitt and his campaign staff look hyper-competent, which is something no one on either side of the aisle or the MSM has ever yet claimed.

    Look, if Romney's campaign really was behind Ryan's pick, wouldn't they have found some other way to tell T-Paw and the other VP losers, other than having one of Mitt's "Mini-Me-itt" sons run out and tell them?

    No, Romney's campaign knew that it couldn't keep the secret of Ryan for very long, so, when they were informed that Ryan was going to be Mitt's pick, "Or else!," they sent out Turbo, Truck, or Tagyou'reit, or whatever Mitt's kid's name is, to tell the prior potential candidates what had happened, lest they leak that information in some unfavorable way.
    You know - just out of spite.

    Is there no amount of feckin' bullsh*t our "Fourth Estate" won't gladly swallow from Republicans, and ask for seconds?

    Never mind. Don't answer that...

  • TCinLA on August 12, 2012 12:29 PM:

    I'm informed by She Who Has A Stronger Stomach Than I that outside of Newtie, all the comentators on Face the Nation this morning had negative things to say about Romney choosing Ryan and about Ryan himself as a far-right ideologue. So perhaps the message is getting out.

  • delNorte on August 12, 2012 12:45 PM:

    I try to stay away from making political comments on my Facebook page, but, since Ryan has tipped his hat to Ayn Rand and we'll probably hear her name come up again, I did post a quote I came across about Rand by writer Flannery O'Connor:

    Flannery O’Connor in a May 31, 1960 Letter to Maryat Lee, who (apparently) found a copy of an Ayn Rand novel in the subway and asked Flannery's opinion of the author: "The fiction of Ayn Rand is as low as you can get re fiction. I hope you picked it up off the floor of the subway and threw it in the nearest garbage pail. She makes Mickey Spillane look like Dostoevsky."

  • R on August 12, 2012 12:48 PM:

    "Got Lazy"? Is there any evidence they're ever not lazy?

  • Leopold Von Ranke on August 12, 2012 12:48 PM:

    Romney is such a wuss. I knew a guy like him in junior high. Born high on the totem pole. Got his lunch money stolen by the tough kids every single day.

  • Hedda Peraz on August 12, 2012 1:06 PM:

    On the last day of Summer Camp pranks are played and mirthful hijinks are enjoyed by all.

  • Renai on August 12, 2012 1:23 PM:

    "Just 24 hours after Mitt Romney takes his oath, America will move into a new era of optimism..."

    That's when I clicked off the nauseating ad on here.

    I am so sick factless conservative future casting unicorns and rainbows over America's tomorrow IF THEY WIN. The right has proved time and again in the past over the past 20 or so years that their patriotism and vision includes only money and legislative regression back to darker times of less, less environmental stewardship, less worker rights, less minimum wage, less social responsibility, less equality, and less for anyone but themselves.

    The only one who'll have that optimism at Mitt's oath-taking are his greedy corporate leash-holders and of course Anne "It's our turn" Romney.

  • castanea on August 12, 2012 1:25 PM:

    "Do you actually think any of those otherwise-unemployable MORONS have the brains to know they got played?"

    No, and here is why:


  • Skip on August 12, 2012 1:28 PM:

    I don't understand...wasn't Sarah Palin a surprise too?

    Who got played?

  • emjayay on August 12, 2012 2:07 PM:

    "I am so sick factless conservative future casting unicorns and rainbows over America's tomorrow..."

    Remember Reagan's 1984 Hal Riney Morning in America ads? The difference of course was that they reflected an actual aspect of Reagan's personality, mostly based on nonsensical nostalgia but also reflected in his "Tear down this wall." kind of stuff.

    The modern Republican version is a whole lot more cynical, and of course only a small part thus far of a presidential campaign characterised by more and repeatedly lying speeches and commercials than ever before.

    The now famous vague on facts and possibly misleading, but I think characterising exactly how long time particularly older workers who lose their jobs and healthcare and pensions feel when their lives are wrecked by takeover/closedowns while the private equity company walks away with millions Demo superpac commercial? Apparently it has only been online and never broadcast, unlike all the Koch brothers and official "I approved this message" Big Lie Romney ads.

  • Elie on August 12, 2012 2:12 PM:

    ..and no one pointed out that Ryan was playing all these games and managed to skip the memorial service for the slain Sikh members of his constituency -- ya know, the ones murdered by the white skin head.. Way to go...

  • lgerard on August 12, 2012 2:30 PM:

    There is one important detsil being left out...

    the orchestrated wingnut media groundswell for Ryan in the 4 or 5 days before the announcement

  • RepubAnon on August 12, 2012 2:37 PM:

    Near as I can tell, the way the Romney campaign kept his VP decision "secret" was to leak it themselves to each media player individually on condition of secrecy.

  • g on August 12, 2012 2:41 PM:

    Who cares that they gave the press the slip? I'd expect such discretion and deliberation, it's probably the only competent thing the Romney campaign has done.

    Now it's all over and Ryan and his budget are the new face of the Romney camp. Good luck with that.

  • sick -n-effin-tired on August 12, 2012 2:50 PM:

    What lgerard said
    Hello! Murdoch Street Journal Editorial a few days prior.
    And if my memory serves me correctly Obama's pick of Biden was pretty much under wraps until the final moments.

  • moronie on August 12, 2012 3:13 PM:

    Wasn't the touted app supposed to be the vehicle for making the vp announcement? Perhaps that failed stunt can be respun as part of their carefully orchestrated ruse.

  • Sunday news addict on August 12, 2012 3:23 PM:

    Allow me to present this video where Paul Ryan mocks an elderly Wisconsin consitituent upset about the Ryan budget plan to end Medicare and destroy Social Security--
    Heartless Ayn Randian-Obsessed Paul Ryan has *the nerve* to ridicule, treat with contempt, and fully disrespect the man--nearly 80 years of age--as he was brutishly dragged from Ryan's prissy little lunch room--still in camera range--then punitively put to the floor in the hall by security police, handcuffed for exercising free speech--and I believe taken to jail.
    Paul Ryan, ever heartless--never said be careful, don't do that, let the man stay--no--Paul Ryan had the nerve to MOCK THE MAN, saying "I hope he took his blood pressure medication."


  • Emiily on August 12, 2012 3:50 PM:

    The real embarrassment is not that Romney and Ryan gave the press the slip, but that all those news outlets just passively swallowed the "Inside Secrets!" story peddled to them today by the Romney camp. They might as well have all printed the same press release. What ever happened to actual journalism, versus just repeating whatever some flack dictates?

  • NRG on August 12, 2012 5:39 PM:

    Abstain from the incessant media circle jerk. Nobody gives two shits about who got what story when or where except reporters and beltway ballwashers. This is inside baseball trivia, not news.

    This goes double for the next time a media figure dies, and the press engages in a self-indulgent post-mortem fellating session.

  • emjayay on August 12, 2012 5:52 PM:

    Sunday news addict: Thanks. What a prick. The guy apparently was at a sit in out in the hall protesting that in the whole August recess Ryan had zero public meetings, only paid ones like that one. The guy was only 71 however, not almost 80, not that that matters.

  • Objective Dem on August 12, 2012 6:16 PM:

    This event should be another "tell" for the media.

    Mitt is all about secrecy. He won't release tax returns. When he left the Governor's office staff bought their hard drives. Etc. Etc.

  • tbee on August 12, 2012 6:43 PM:

    Ironically, they can't wait to take back the WH and out their first CIA agent.

  • T2 on August 12, 2012 6:59 PM:

    Romney doesn't like this. It will be awkward .

  • Doug on August 12, 2012 9:14 PM:

    Sorry, but keeping a secret from this bunch of inept stenographers isn't anything to brag about.
    Have I missed it or am I the only one who is wondering why these (so-called) journalists AREN'T asking the more important question of WHY Romney chose Ryan? True, it WOULD require them to, you know, do their job and journalmalism is hard work!
    Still, one would think they'd have a reason NOW...

  • TCinLA on August 12, 2012 9:22 PM:

    castanea: Thanks for the Dunning-Krueger link.

    Kruger and Dunning proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:

    tend to overestimate their own level of skill;
    fail to recognize genuine skill in others;
    fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;

    Sure explains a lot.

  • Anonymous on August 12, 2012 9:57 PM:

    I think they did one thing right:
    the media stopped talking about Romney's tax returns and shady tv ads on welfare reform waivers that never existed.

    i guess that's why they didn't "save it" until the convention.

  • Howard on August 12, 2012 10:34 PM:

    This is the address for Paul Ryan's house in Janesville:

    700 Saint Lawrence Ave Janesville, WI 53545-4040

    Check this address on Google maps and you can get a street view of what the house looks like. Using street view, you can also go around to the back of the house and see that it is sort of kitty corner to a small park (Parker Park) that can only loosely be described as "woods" Parker park is approximately a half block on either side, with not many trees. Ryan's account that he went out the back of his house and hiked through the woods is only true in the most narrowly technical sense: If by "hiking" he meant walking at most a few hundred feet, and by "woods" he meant more than one tree.

  • mudwall jackson on August 13, 2012 2:42 AM:

    scanning a couple of the linked stories, i've come to this conclusion:

    who cares? anyone who reads this drivel deserves what they get. and in the end, this 'story' won't matter one way or the other as far as the election is concerned.

    you want to play media critic? fine. please give us a journalistic atrocity with a little more substance than this marsh mellow.

  • booch221 on August 13, 2012 4:20 PM:

    We know Mittens is good at keeping secrets. From the stonwalling on his taxes, and secret bank accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands to his destroying computer hard drives when he left office in Massachusetts.

    Mittens doesn't do transparency.