SCHENECTADY Union College student Curt Myers had a special delivery to make at his summer job.
He wasn’t delivering pizzas or subs, but potentially the next vice president of the United States.
The 19-year-old was tasked with picking up U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin at Bradley International Airport in suburban Hartford, Conn., on Aug. 5 and bringing him to Myers’ home in Brookline, Mass., where Ryan met with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. On Saturday, Romney formally announced his selection of Ryan, a seven-term congressman, as his running mate.
Myers said he was tapped to pick up Ryan in order to keep the congressman’s selection under wraps for as long as possible. If Myers’ mother or some other high-profile figure with the GOP campaign were seen driving Ryan, it would have tipped off the press, he said.
“Obviously, no one has seen me or knows who I am, so that added a level of anonymity,” Myers said.
Myers is the deputy director of finance communications for the Romney campaign, where he is responsible for helping coordinate mailings to potential donors. He is the son of Romney adviser Beth Myers, who has been with the candidate since his successful 2002 run for governor of Massachusetts. She was vetting potential vice-presidential candidates.
On Aug. 5, Ryan took a commercial flight into the smaller Bradley International Airport and dressed casually so no one would recognize him. Romney traveled from his home in Wolfeboro, N.H., to meet with Ryan for a little more than an hour, according to a report on the BuzzFeed Politics website. Myers then drove Ryan back to the airport.
Myers said he drove the rented SUV very carefully.
“I wasn’t trying to show off my speed or anything,” he said.
He and Ryan chatted about Union College and conservative politics. The congressman seemed calm, given the circumstances, according to Myers.
“He was pretty relaxed and down to earth about everything,” he said. “He wasn’t terribly shaken up by the whole thing, which he easily could have been. It’s a pretty big step.”
Myers was again pressed into service on Friday to pick up the Ryan family from an airport in North Carolina to bring them to Norfolk, Va., and brought them takeout from Applebee’s for dinner, according to BuzzFeed Politics.
Myers said he likes Romney’s choice of Ryan, who is chairman of the House Budget Committee.
“I think it shows how serious the governor is about debt reduction and Congressman Ryan is going to be a huge asset in that regard. He’s put forth a plan that will reduce the deficit and reduce the debt, so I think it’s good,” he said.
Myers believes the election will ultimately come down to the economy.
“I think that’s what the American people are most concerned about,” he said. “There’s two very different philosophies right now in the race.”
Myers has been working on the campaign since he got out of school as well as during a break last fall. He estimates that he has been putting in about 70 hours a week at the Boston office Monday through Saturday and another 10 at home.
Myers, who will be a sophomore this fall, is considering majoring in political science and history and applying to a Marine Corps aviation program after graduation — his grandfather and uncle were both in the military. He is also considering law school.
His other interest is baseball. Myers is a pitcher on the Union College team. He had Tommy John surgery in high school, which prevented colleges from recruiting him. He said he chose to attend Union after meeting with the coach and deciding he wanted to attend a small liberal arts college relatively close to home.
Whether or not the Romney-Ryan ticket wins, Myers said, it was an honor to drive Ryan.
“It was an experience I’ll remember forever,” he said.