Sunday's NYT magazine has a profile by Mark Leibovich of Paul Ryan and his place in this election cycle. Inside, a look at what it was like for the Romney campaign and its allies immediately after the vice presidential debate:
Earlier this month, I traveled to Danville, Ky., for the debate in which Ryan would turn in a competent if somewhat innocuous performance that was largely overshadowed by Joe Biden’s amped-up mannerisms. In the arc of the campaign, the evening would probably be recalled as a spirited and entertaining spectacle with minimal impact on the ultimate result. What was striking to me was the almost giddy mood that suddenly came over the Romney camp and Republicans in general — high-fives for Sean Hannity in the spin room, surrogates hailing the efforts of “the next vice president.” It was as if they were just now getting their heads around the idea that they might actually win this thing, after a period in which they seemed so resigned to defeat that all that was left to do was engage in a kind of pre-emptive soul-searching over what — and who — came next.