Mitt Romney Picked Paul Ryan After Reading New Yorker Profile

New Yorker cover of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan

The cover of The New Yorker, Sept 3, 2012

Is The New Yorker responsible for Paul Ryan’s name on the 2012 Republican ticket?

According to an excerpt in Time magazine from Double Down, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s new book about the 2012 presidential election, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney chose Mr. Ryan as his running mate after reading a profile of the congressman in The New Yorker.

On the flight home from his July trip to England, Israel and Poland, Romney inhaled a long profile of Ryan in The New Yorker, which traced the Congressman’s ascendancy to the position of de facto intellectual and ideological leader of the GOP. Impressed by what he read, he gave the piece to [consultant Stuart] Stevens, who paged through it on the plane too. What do you think now? Romney asked.

“I can’t tell you who to fall in love with,” Stevens said with a shrug.

Fussbudget: How Paul Ryan captured the G.O.P.” by Ryan Lizza ran in the Aug. 6 issue of The New Yorker. Presumably, that was the lengthy profile (it was more than 6,000 words) that ultimately decided who would be the 2012 Republican candidate for vice president, giving Mr. Lizza the best bragging rights in political reporting (and, one imagines, inducing jealousy in the authors of Double Down).

“This was my first reaction: good thing Romney didn’t read my Michele Bachmann profile!” Mr. Lizza said, in an email to OTR.

“It’s better than when John McCain found his vice-presidential choice in the cartoons,” New Yorker Editor in Chief David Remnick jokingly told OTR, referring to Sarah Palin.

The Obama camp was baffled by Mr. Romney’s choice.

President Obama “was surprised by the Ryan pick, couldn’t fathom the political calculation that led Mitt to choose the front man for a set of policies that were so broadly unpopular,” write Messrs. Halperin and Heilemann.

Perhaps Mr. Obama hadn’t yet read Mr. Lizza’s story.

Note: This post has been updated to include quotes from Mr. Lizza and Mr. Remnick.