The late-night news that Mitt Romney had chosen Paul Ryan as his vice presidential pick sent the media racing, and brought an end to the months-long speculation fondly (or not so fondly) known as the "Veepstakes."
The fenzy started just after 11 PM on Friday night, when the Romney campaign suddenly informed the world that the presumptive GOP nominee would be appearing with his running mate early the following morning. Immediately, reporters began reading tea leaves about the men on the shortlist. Tim Pawlenty, for instance, was due to be in New Hampshire on Saturday -- not in Virginia, where Romney would be.
NBC was the first to break the news of the Ryan pick on television, as Chuck Todd fortuitously found himself in a studio to announce his scoop. He was followed within minutes by The Huffington Post's Jon Ward. (Fox News' Carl Cameron had earlier said that "all signs" pointed to the Ryan pick, but he did not concretely say that Ryan would be picked.)
The networks began switching over to wall-to-wall coverage of the VP news. NBC broke in with a special report, as did ABC. CNN International began simulcasting in the US, with Wolf Blitzer and John King calling in over the phone.
If there was one loser in the race to get the news out, it was surely Mitt Romney's much-vaunted vice-presidential app, which did not inform people that Ryan was the one until just after 7 AM on Saturday.
The special coverage continued on Saturday, as the broadcast networks broke into their normal programming to cover the announcement.
With Ryan's pick, one chapter in all presidential races -- the endless "Veepstakes," where the same ten people are asked over and over again whether or not they've been asked to, or will be considered to, or have been thinking about becoming vice president -- closes. The next chapter -- the "get to know Paul Ryan" chapter -- now begins. Unlike, say Rob Portman, Ryan has been one of the most visible Republican politicians over the last few years, the subject of an infinite amount of profiles on everything from his controversial budget to his robust swoop of hair. However, readers and viewers can expect a mountain of new biographical pieces to emerge in the coming weeks, probing all the crevices of his biography and looking for dirt.
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