Well that ended quickly.
My dear Ohio, we will no longer have the presidential aspirations of Robert Jones Portman to speculate over. Mr. Portman gathered up his fedora out of the Grand Old Party ring Monday night and sauntered away from a bid for the high office of our land.
“I don’t think I can run for president and be an effective senator at the same time,” Portman said. “While I appreciate the encouragement I have received from many to run for president, my focus will remain on Ohio and running for re-election to the Senate in 2016.”
With the designs Democrats are making on his seat in that presidential election year, and a neurodegenerative disorder eating away any semblance of rationality in the Republican Party’s collective political brain, Portman must’ve seen the long slog ahead and chosen to make things slightly less complicated for himself.
He will face a difficult re-election already, and likely can’t see anything attractive about a GOP presidential pageant in which the primary candidates look fully committed to attempting to out-derange one another.
Portman has been viewed as a potential contender for president in 2016 ever since he was vetted, but ultimately not picked, to be Mitt Romney’s running mate in 2012.
Courted by Willard, all for naught.
Portman would have been the first pro-gay marriage Republican presidential candidate.
Alas, the neurodegenerative disorder would never allow such a candidate to win.
He said as recently as two weeks ago that he was considering a presidential run, telling CNN last month that “I probably have more experience than other people who are running or thinking about running.”
Unfortunately for Portman, it’s not experience in government that counts as much as experience in free-floating reactionary hostility.
But Portman made it clear in his statement that he believes he can be a more effective leader while in the Senate as Republicans preside over both chambers starting in 2015.
And oh the Senate will be a Circus Tent, no doubt of that, but with all the other the barkers and the baggy-pants clowns and human oddities readily available, it’s hard to see Mr. Portman as more than a supporting player.
David DeWitt is a journalist and universal minister based out of Athens, Ohio. He has also written for Government Executive online, the National Journal’s Hotline, and The New York Observer’s Politicker.com. He can be found on Twitter @TheRevDeWitt.