NBC News won the war last night. They were the first to report that Paul Ryan is Mitt Romney's choice for Vice President. NBC bested everyone else, including Mitt's app, when they broke the news sometime around midnight last night. Ryan and Romney are scheduled to speak together in Virginia on Saturday morning in front of the U.S.S. Wisconsin. Romney confirmed the announcement ahead of their scheduled appearance on Twitter, while Paul Ryan got a spiffy @PaulRyanVP account for the occasion. CNN has excerpts from the speech Ryan is expected to deliver Saturday morning.
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We'll update this space as news about the decision comes out.
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Update #1: Our own John Hudson looked at the many different ways a Ryan ticket would help Romney's campaign when he appeared to be at the top of Romney's shortlist.
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Buzzfeed's Zeke Miller reports Romney's senior campaign aides caught pool reporters off guard last night by being especially easy to access. They dined and drank with them at the hotel bar until late Friday night when news broke that Romney was announcing this morning, when campaign aides either disappeared or played dumb. Romney wasn't expected to announce until after the Olympics.
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Word is Romney made the choice on August 1. Fox News Stephen Hayes reports Ryan flew to meet with Romney on August 5 and returned to Wisconsin on the same day, suggesting Ryan has known for a few days now. Dave Weigel points out this is the first Republican ticket with no Protestants on it, ever.
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Reince Preibus tweeted this photo of Romney and Ryan shaking hands this morning in Wisconsin:
Update #2: Because this announcement couldn't happen without some kind of gaffe, when Romney introduced Ryan in Wisconsin he called him, "the next President of the United States." Which, oops. Mitt jumped back onstage to correct himself, and gaffed again while hugging Ryan and saying, "Every now and then I make a mistake." Great job, Mitt.
Also, Ryan is catching flack for not wearing a tie.
Update #3: People seem very excited about Paul Ryan's hair. A few people joked about it on Twitter while Ryan delivered his speech. And then, like magic, Buzzfeed released a 21 picture homage to Ryan's perfectly styled mane.
Update #4: The New York Observer's Politicker has the full transcript of Paul Ryan's remarks from Saturday morning:
Let me say a word about the man Mitt Romney will replace. No one disputes President Obama inherited a difficult situation. And, in his first 2 years, with his party in complete control of Washington, he passed nearly every item on his agenda. But that didn’t make things better.
I’m proud to stand with a man who understands what it takes to foster job creation in our economy, someone who knows from experience, that if you have a small business—you did build that.
The commitment Mitt Romney and I make to you is this:
We won’t duck the tough issues…we will lead!
We won’t blame others…we will take responsibility!
We won’t replace our founding principles…we will reapply them!
Update #5: Daily Intel's Jonathan Chait has an interesting take: it's Ryan, not Romney, who is the true leader of the Republican party.