Signs that Mitt Romney had tapped House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan as his running mate were available online as early as Aug. 1 when RomneyRyan.com went live – coincidentally the same date that Romney told senior staffers that Ryan was his man.
A week ago on Aug. 6, the day after Romney asked Ryan to be on the ticket, I did web searches combining Romney’s name with those of the frequently mentioned potential vice-presidential picks and found that only the RomneyRyan.com site was active.
RomneyJindal.com, RomneyPortman.com, RomneyPawlenty.com, etc. by contrast only showed up as empty sites that could be registered from GoDaddy.com or other vendors.
The RomneyRyan.com site was featured complete with the new Romney-Ryan campaign slogan “America’s Comeback Team” and a photo of Romney and Ryan standing together at an earlier campaign rally. The site also featured an e-mail link firstname.lastname@example.org, so I sent an e-mail to that address and it didn’t bounce back.
As of Saturday after the announcement that Ryan would be Romney's running mate, RomneyRyan.com redirected to Romney’s campaign website, MittRomney.com, but as of Monday morning that redirect had ended.
The media had its eyes transfixed on Wikipedia and outside the homes frequently mentioned GOP vice-presidential contenders to no avail.
But had the media been more astute by plugging in Romney's and Ryan's names together in a browser window the Ryan pick could have been discovered a week and a half before the formal announcement was made and before the House Budget Committee chairman knew he would be Romney's running mate.