Mitt Romney is your GOP nominee

A sea of Mitt Romney supporters (AFP Photo)

Mitt Romney has hit the magic number: 1,144 delegates. He is the Republican presidential nominee. New Jersey, with its 50 delegates, is the state that put him over the top.

The members of Romney's inner circle, much like their candidate, rarely show much emotion. They're usually all business. But as New Jersey's delegates put Romney over the top, a few of Romney's longtime advisers let their emotions show -- if only for a moment.

As New Jersey's roll was being called, Russ Schriefer, a senior strategist who is overseeing the convention, and senior advisers Peter Flaherty and Kevin Madden stood in the corner of the convention's ruby red-carpeted floor, almost hidden behind the Wyoming delegation. They looked up at the jumbotron and saw the words "Over The Top."

And then the trio of Romney insiders punched their fists in the air, clapped and shook each other's hands.

"It's been a long road," Madden said to Flaherty and Schriefer.

Indeed, it was. Many in Romney's team have worked together since early 2007, when he launched his first presidential campaign. Some advisers, including Flaherty, were at Romney's side many years before that, when he served as governor of Massachusetts. 

Philip Rucker is a national political correspondent for The Washington Post, where he has reported since 2005.

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