"What he saw in Paul was a level head, very smart. You can tell, it came through, the kind of character that this man has," Mrs. Romney said.
Ryan declined to engage in any morning-after analysis while stopping for breakfast with his family Friday at Josie's diner in Lexington on his way out of Kentucky. All he would allow is that he felt great about how the debate turned out.
Attention now shifts to the two remaining debates between Obama and Romney: Tuesday's "town hall" style faceoff in Hempstead, N.Y., and a final showdown, over foreign policy, on Oct. 22 in Boca Raton, Fla.
And the campaigns get right back into the thick of it on Friday, looking for ways large and small to shift more voters in their direction in the small number of states whose electoral votes are still up for grabs: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin.
After his Virginia rally, Romney was linking up with Ryan in Ohio. Biden and wife, Jill, will woo young voters at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Obama will spend a rare day in Washington, preparing for the next two debates and taking campaign contest winners out to eat.
The president has set aside a serious chunk of time for preparation after being faulted for underestimating the importance of his first debate with Romney. He'll be hunkered down in Williamsburg, Va., from Saturday until Tuesday rehearsing with Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass, acting as a proxy for Romney.
The Democrats' monthlong "gotta vote" bus tour will be in Milwaukee on Friday, just in time to rev up supporters for the opening of Wisconsin's early voting season on Monday.