Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Meet Sen.Portman, the tidy Un-Trump

When Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman stepped up to the  podium at  the
Akron Press Club luncheon, the well-behaved partisan audience got a closeup of the prototypical Un-Trump.

Casual open collar, lean,  unthreatening, a sweep of gray  hair  betraying his boyish manner, a regular guy - all of it Un-Trump evidence of his selfie as a "Common Sense Conservative".

As it happened, even his  speech as the candidate for reelection against former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland followed the  safest route, narrowly content  to tell us what everyone in the room already knew:  Good grief.  There's a  drug crises in the land. 

It wasn't until some  questions from the audience led him  down the unscripted off-ramp that we heard, if only  briefly,  that he wants to delay the nomination of Merrick Garland - a  highly qualified jurist, says Portman  - because  it would be "better for the country". Better than what?  His practiced imprecision can throw the unsuspecting.

There's more to fill out the image, unspoken.  Un-Trump Portman is still the same guy who voted to defund Planned Parenthood.  Vigorous pro-life supporter. Opponent of protection  of ocean, coastal and Great Lakes ecosystems.  Climate denier.  Insists on repealing ObamaCare and replacing it with  something or other.

Don't get me started on the Common Sense Conservative who had tagged along with Mitt Romney throughout swing-state Ohio leading the political gurus to assume that he was in line for the vice presidency.

There are times when it would be fair to say that,as I occasionally read on my computer,    his message has no content.

That's an Un-Trump for you.

His Press Club audience  seemed unmoved by his speech, offering no more than muted applause at the end.

For once I could agree with that particular group.

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