It's fun to play the "Who will Romney pick as VP?" parlor game, but the identity of who Romney selects won't have an impact on the election in November. As I've been saying since April, Romney is going to win in an electoral college landslide. The decisive factor in that victory will be President Obama's poor performance these past three and a half years, not who Romney selects as VP. The sample skewed polls the mainstream media have been pushing lately are meaningless exercises in liberal wishful thinking. The intensity of opposition to the odious statism practiced by Obama and his cronies is so great, tea party activists will literally crawl over broken glass to get to the polls on election day. The get-out-the-vote effort they will launch will be an historic turning point in American political history.
Rob Portman is one name on everyone's short list for VP, but outside of Ohio, very few people know much about him. Who is Rob Portman and why is he on Romney's short list?
A native of Ohio, Portman attended Dartmouth and the University of Michigan Law School, served a dozen years in Congress, had a cup of coffee as George W. Bush's Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and was handily elected to the United States Senate from Ohio in 2010.
His political philosophy and personal style is standard brand Republican establishment. There's little to see in his background that suggests he's particularly sympathetic to the tea party's core values of constitutionally limited government, free markets, and fiscal responsibility. The tea party friendly Club for Growth, for instance, rates Portman as only the 29th most conservative Senator--tied with the recently defeated Richard Lugar of Indiana, defender of the Republican establishment.
But Portman's ideological blandness will have little to do with his performance as a potential VP candidate. He's smart, loyal, and won't make many unforced errors. And in this election, the VP candidate's ability to handle the job of President if that need arises will be the key point upon which the Romney team will focus. Perhaps most important to those calculating the odds that he will be picked as VP is the observation that Romney seems very comfortable with his cautious, buttoned down, intelligent reliability.
Portman does get some style points for his skill and interest in canoeing and kayaking. In fact, he wrote an article recently about a kayaking adventure he had in China. As such, Portman has enough experience navigating through rough waters to predict that, if Romney selects him for the VP slot, he won't do anything during the campaign that will capsize the good ship Romney.
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