What...What in the world did Ohio Sen. Rob Portman have in mind when he joined 37 other Republican senators, a majority of whom were from southern states, in opposing U.S. support for a United Nations Disabilities Treaty? I mean, even John McCain and a wheel-chair bound ex-Sen. Bob Dole (pitifully rolled onto the Senate floor for moral support) favored the measure.
Maybe I read too many articles about Portman being a calm and deliberative nice guy from Cincinnati who was Mitt Romney's cupbearer throughout the campaign as a GOP "rising star". Maybe I almost believed that George W. Bush's budget director and trade representative could lend a glimmer of sanity to the Republican side. Or maybe he simply caved under the maniacal pressure from Tea Partyers and homeschoolers who foolishly supposed the measure would be a blow to U.S. sovereignty as well as curtail the rights of parents with disabled children.
After all, in June, the hometown conservative Cincinnati Enquirer, long a Portman booster, had an online story with a provocative headline asking: The Loyal Soldier: Is Rob Portman the next vice president? Not yet, as the November election results told us.
Yet, in the disabilities vote, Portman turned up on the southern conservative roster in a 61-38 tally that failed because a two-thirds vote was required for passage. We were told that the biggest concern of the 38 aginners was what it might do to homeschooling. Sixty-one other senators, including all of the Democrats, considered that hogwash, which, of course, it was.
Oh, my. The drum roll continues anyway in the media. Now the Dayton Daily News is suggesting that a Kasich-Portman presidential ticket could arise in 2016. After all, the Columbus Dispatch has reported that the governor's name has "surfaced as a potential" presidential candidate. Don't clip. Don't save.
Still, that would be perfect match. Kasich has been known to say silly things. And Portman has downgraded his own public image with his crazy swing to the far right in opposing the disabilities measure. It could be harder for this GOP "comeback" team to receive serious consideration unless by 2016, the party has decided to move its show to the Twilight Zone.