I tried (I swear!) to abstain from a fourth Paul Ryan item, but this is too good to resist. The story of the morning is how the Romney campaign managed to keep the selection of Ryan a secret. The operatives are obviously pleased with themselves because they’re talking to anyone who will listen. As Michael Calderone noted last night, “News orgs simultaneously publish stories about Romney camp outwitting media with Ryan pick — details of which were provided by Romney camp. ”

Read ’em and weep:

— “Inside the VP Pick: How Romney Decided On Ryan – and Kept the Secret” (TIME)

— “Ryan’s path to Romney’s No. 2 was steeped in secrecy” (Reuters)

— “The Inside Story Of How Mitt Romney Chose Paul Ryan And Kept It A Secret” (Buzzfeed)

— “Ryan selection shrouded in secrecy” (AP)

— “How Romney Kept Paul Ryan’s Pick for VP a Secret” (ABC News)

— “When Mitt Romney settled on Paul Ryan and how he kept it a secret” (Washington Post)

Even Calderone’s own publication, The Huffington Post, got in on the action: “Paul Ryan, Vice President Pick, Disguises And Hikes Through The Woods.”

This ought to be embarrassing for everyone involved. You got played.

Anyway, this has been a pleasure. Until we meet again, feel free to shoot me an email or find me on Twitter.

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