Portman Says No To Presidential Run

Senator Rob Portman says he’s not running for President:

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) says he is not running for president in 2016, ending speculation around the centrist Ohio senator.

“I don’t think I can run for president and be an effective senator at the same time,” he said in a statement late Monday night, announcing that he will be seeking reelection to the Senate in 2016.

Portman was mentioned as a GOP vice presidential pick in 2012 and comes from the crucial swing state of Ohio. He said that he hoped to make progress in the Senate on issues like tax reform, increasing exports and energy production.

Portman also served as director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush.

Portman supports gay marriage, a stance that could have been a point of contention in a Republican presidential primary.

“It really wasn’t a factor,” he told The Associated Press Monday night. “Some people say it would have hurt me. Some people say it would have helped me. The country is obviously moving on that issue.

Instead, Portman will run for re-election in Ohio, which could be a difficult task in a Presidential year but most assuredly an easier one than running for President. Alternatively, of course, we could see another candidate from Ohio emerge in the form of recently re-elected Governor John Kaisch. Additionally, assuming the nominee is someone other than Kaisch Portman’s name is likely to be on the short list for Vice-President just as it apparently was in 2012.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. gVOR08 says:

    Sensible decision. As I’ve mentioned, Portman is my Senator, was my Representative, and I’m barely aware of the dweeb’s existence.

    The quote mentions Portman’s support for gay marriage without context, leaving the reader to assume it’s some principled stand. He was against it until his kid came out.

  2. James Pearce says:

    “I don’t think I can run for president and be an effective senator at the same time.”

    Rand Paul has a different take….

  3. CSK says:

    @gVOR08:

    Sometimes that’s what it takes to make it real.

  4. ernieyeball says:

    The link to this Portman item shows a link to Dandy Randy Paul stating he will run for reelection as Kentucky junior Senator to DC.
    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/225683-paul-announces-senate-reelection-bid

    “I ran for office because, like many Kentuckians, I was alarmed at the problems facing our country:..”

    He also “ran” for office so he would be in shape to bolt from Dreamers after choking on his hamburger last summer in Iowa at Representative Steve Kings event.
    http://www.salon.com/2014/08/05/watch_steve_king_debate_a_dreamer_as_rand_paul_flees/

  5. Gavrilo says:

    @gVOR08:

    The quote mentions Portman’s support for gay marriage without context, leaving the reader to assume it’s some principled stand. He was against it until his kid came out.

    As opposed to most Democrats (like President Obama) who were against it until it became politically advantageous to not be against it. Highly principled!

  6. gVOR08 says:

    @Gavrilo: You remind me of a friend. Very conservative, likes to argue politics. However, he’s incapable of seeing any forest for the trees. No matter what anyone says, all he hears is “Democrat good, Republican bad”, and he replies “Republican good, Democrat bad” with some off the wall example. If I were to say “GDP growth was pretty good last quarter” he’d reply with something like “Obamacare is oppression.” He can’t stay on topic either. We were discussing Portman.

  7. Gavrilo says:

    @gVOR08:

    I’m not the one who chose to make a snide comment about Portman being unprincipled because his support for SSM stems from the fact that he has a gay son. You did. I simply pointed out that most Democrats (like President Obama) also opposed SSM until it became politically advantageous to support it. Do you honestly think it’s more principled for Democrats to change their position on SSM only after it becomes politically advantageous than it is for a Republican for whom it could be politically damaging? Or, can one only have a principled position on SSM if he or she supported it from birth?

  8. gVOR08 says:

    @Gavrilo: It’s a fact. And one that should not have been omitted from the story.

  9. Gustopher says:

    @gVOR08:

    The quote mentions Portman’s support for gay marriage without context, leaving the reader to assume it’s some principled stand. He was against it until his kid came out.

    Coming out of the closet is — among things — a political act. LGBTetc folk are no longer some strange subculture that normal people don’t encounter, they are friends, neighbors, sons and daughters, blah, blah, blah. It’s why this country has changed so fast on marriage equality.

    Give or take everyone over a certain age who now favors marriage equality changed their mind somewhere along the way. And generally only when something forced them to reexamine their beliefs. People live in a bubble of self-reinforced beliefs, and empathy for those outside the bubble is hard to come by — are you condemning everyone? In an interview about a year ago, Hillary Clinton wouldn’t even discuss why and when she changed her mind, Portman is at least open.

    So, kudos for Senator Portman’s gay son. Now, if he would only come out as black or poor…

  10. gVOR08 says:

    @Gustopher: Kudos to his son for coming out, and to Portman for not blocking the kid. But Portman supported the standard Republican line, and would be still, had his son not made it impossible. This does leave an impression of empathy limited to his immediate family. And as you note, it’s unlikely any of his family are black or poor.

    My real problem is with the Hill’s story, implying he’s some Republican outlier without mentioning the obvious, unheroic, reason. Same as Cheney. Well Dick, not Liz.

  11. TheoNott says:

    He always made a more plausible Veep choice than Presidential nominee. I think he is setting himself up for that role.

  12. gVOR08 says:

    @TheoNott: I also suspect he’s hoping for a veep pick. As an establishment type from Ohio with a long resume, he probably thinks he’s a natural to provide balance to a ticket with a Cruz or Paul. As veep he wouldn’t have to go through the primary process. I think he’s wrong. They’ll want someone who’ll be an effective campaigner and he’s so milquetoast he blends into the scenery.

  13. bill says:

    maybe natalie portman?