Updated: 1:15 a.m. Sunday, June 24, 2012 | Posted: 6:58 p.m. Saturday, June 23, 2012
By Jessica Wehrman
A closer look at Robert Jones “Rob” Portman:
Age: 56. Born in Cincinnati, Dec. 19, 1955.
Education: B.A., Dartmouth College, 1979; J.D., University of Michigan School of Law, 1984.
Experience: U.S. Senate, 2011-present; director, White House Office of Management and Budget, 2006-07; U.S. trade representative under President George W. Bush, 2005; U.S. House, 1993-2005; deputy assistant and director, Office of Legislative Affairs, White House, 1989-91; associate counsel to President George H.W. Bush, 1989.
Family: Wife, Jane; three children.
Religion: Methodist (changed from Presbyterian after marriage).
On the nightstand: Robert Caro’s second Lyndon B. Johnson book, “Means of Ascent,” and John F. Kennedy’s “Profiles in Courage.” Favors books about politics and history, particularly those about two of his favorite presidents, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.
Recent movie seen: “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”; often watches Westerns on cable TV; favorite actors are Clint Eastwood and Robert Duvall.
Music: Eclectic; favored the Beatles and Grateful Dead in younger days, now more into country music; Rodney Atkins a current favorite.
Hobbies: Kayaking, biking, hunting.
Fun fact: Portman and his family own the Golden Lamb, an inn and restaurant in Lebanon, that dates to 1803 and has hosted 12 U.S. presidents.
Source: Associated Press
eep contenders in addition to Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio:
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
Career: U.S. Senator from Florida; former member of the Florida House of Representatives, where he held positions including majority leader and speaker.
Pluses: Hispanic, represents swing state of Florida. Beloved by the Tea Party. Charismatic.
Minuses: New to the national stage and to the Senate. Barely vetted during his Senate campaign in 2010.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty
Career: former Governor of Minnesota, former presidential candidate, former Minnesota state House member, former House Majority Leader for Minnesota House of Representatives, former labor law attorney, former vice president of a software company.
Pluses: Endorsed Romney after ending his own presidential campaign and gets along well with him. Considered a safe pick. Always on message.
Minuses: Comes from a historically blue state. Sort of boring.
Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.
Career: U.S. Senator, former U.S. Representative, former U.S. Senate staffer, former South Dakota state Republican executive director, former executive director, South Dakota state municipal league.
Pluses: Conservative. Has Washington, D.C., credentials to balance out Romney’s state credentials. Good-looking. Provides a nice geographic balance.
Minuses: Fairly unknown nationally. Also, South Dakota not a swing state.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte
Career: U.S. Senator from New Hampshire, former staffer for New Hampshire attorney general, former counsel to New Hampshire governor, former deputy attorney general of New Hampshire, former attorney general of New Hampshire.
Pluses: As a woman, would bring diversity to the ticket. Also hails from a swing state.
Minuses: Relatively new to the national stage. New to the U.S. Senate and may be considered too inexperienced.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal
Career: Governor of Louisiana, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, former secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
Pluses: Youthful, brings diversity and would be the first Indian-American on the national ticket of either party; some D.C. experience. Impressive resume as governor.
Minuses: Endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the GOP presidential primary.
Virginia governor Bob McDonnell
Career: Virginia governor, former member of Virginia House of Delegates, former Assistant Majority Leader, former Attorney General, former Virginia Beach prosecutor
Pluses: Would be popular with conservatives. Represents a swing state.
Minuses: Associated with controversial measures such as a bill that would require women to have an intravaginal ultrasound before having an abortion.
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez
Career: Governor of New Mexico since 2011. Served four terms as district attorney.
Pluses: First woman governor of New Mexico and first woman Hispanic governor in the United States. She would help Romney appeal to Hispanics, who overwhelmingly support Obama. She might help Romney win a key swing state. She opposes abortion rights.
Minuses: Barely known nationally.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley
Career: Governor of South Carolina from 2011; member of the South Carolina House from 2005-2010; accountant.
Pluses: A strong campaigner who endorsed Romney early. An ardent anti-tax conservative. Daughter of Sikh immigrants, she is the first Indian-American to serve in office in South Carolina.
Minuses: Couldn’t deliver South Carolina for Romney during the Republican presidential primary, which was won by Newt Gingrich. Not well known outside South Carolina.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
Career: Governor of New Jersey since 2010; U.S. attorney for the district of New Jersey from 2002 through 2008.
Pluses: A hero among conservatives because of his tough efforts to control state spending in New Jersey.
Minuses: His confrontational style may not sit well with independents across the country. In addition, there is little chance that Romney will win New Jersey even with Christie on the ticket.