1. Rob Portman Is A Lover Of Beer… A Real “Man of the People.”
Rob is all fired up about beer these days. He recently spoke out at a Reuters Washington Summit against a tax policy that had led to U.S. beer companies being bought out by overseas brewers. “I’m a beer drinker and I’m particularly upset by the fact there is no big U.S. beer company any more,” he said. “Sam Adams is now the largest U.S. beer company, with one percent market share. All the rest are foreign owned now and driven by tax policy.” He called for a new tax system “so Budweiser can stay an American company.”
2. He Looks Youthful Enough To Be Romney’s Son.
While flipping hotcakes for rain-soaked supporters in Brunswick Ohio, a man asked if he was Romney’s son, Tagg. “No, that’s Senator Portman,” another replied. The two look nothing alike, but that’s a testament to Portman’s youthful appeal — even if he does have gray hair.
3. He’s Reading Two Books That Would Appear On A Democrat’s Coffee Table.
Means of Ascent, a book about Lyndon B. Johnson, and Profiles In Courage by John F. Kennedy are the two books on Portman’s nightstand. He choice in reading material shows that he is fair and open-minded… or perhaps looking for ammunition to use against the Democrats in a Vice Presidential debate…
4. Portman And His Family Own The Golden Lamb.
The Golden Lamb is an inn & restaurant in Lebanon, Ohio that dates back to 1803 and has hosted 12 Presidents, Charles Dickens and Harriet Beecher Stowe. In fact, it’s the “oldest continuously operating business” in the state — and it’s allegedly haunted. You can order everything from sauerkraut balls to Wyoming free range bison meatloaf.
5. He’s A Badass On The Water And A Serious Adventurer.
Rob once kayaked the entire 1,900 miles of the Rio Grande River from Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico. In First Descents: In Search of Wild Rivers, he penned a chapter about the time he smuggled a kayak into China to kayak the Yangtze River back in the ’80s. He has also been an avid canoe racer all his life. In fact, he and his son have won their division in the annual Ohio River Paddlefest three times.
6. He’s Also A Zombie-Hunter.
The Ohio Senator recently introduced an amendment to a Senate FDA bill that would implement a federal ban on bath salts — the drug that has caused several people to lose their minds and eat people’s faces off. The bill passed 92-4. He explains, ”My amendment to ban these drugs at the federal level will better enable federal and state authorities to combat this growing epidemic,” Portman said in a statement after the vote. “Synthetic drugs are blinding some to the point where they lose sight of their own humanity, spurring reckless, horrific acts across the country. By banning these substances at the federal level and authorizing the DEA to pursue the manufacturers of these drugs across state lines, passage of this measure is an important step in reversing this streak of devastating crimes.”
7. He Learned Spanish From Cowboys While Working On A Texas Ranch.
As a youth, Portman shared bunkhouses with Mexican cowboys and spent his summers working as a ranch hand in Texas. “I know a lot of bad words,” he confessed… although former Governor Ted Strickland assures us Portman “is a very Conservative guy with good manners.”
8. He Is A Bionic Man.
Rob has a titanium collarbone from a 2010 mountain biking accident that resulted in a serious fracture.
9. He Met His Wife, Jane, On A “Blind Date” That She Describes As “So-So.”
Jane said Rob “talked too much” on the date. However, they stayed in-touch by writing letters and exchanging books. Nothing beats a great pen pal! Eventually, he wooed her back a year later. They married after she became a Republican, despite a lifetime of being a Democrat — and he joined her Methodist faith after growing up Presbyterian. ”It’s all about compromise in marriage, she said. “It’s worked out great.” The couple have three children.
10. He Is A Good Listener And A Quirky Gift Giver.
Once, Rob’s wife expressed an interest in fresh eggs. So he bought her four chickens in a coop for Christmas! These chickens live in the back yard of their $1.3 million suburban home in Terrace Park. They reportedly lay four fresh eggs a day. ”He’s got a crazy spirit to him. He likes to have fun,” explains his older brother, Wym. He adds, “One of the things that irritates me is this perception of him as a bland policy wonk.”
I’m with Eric Randall. Don’t let the pundits fool you… Rob Portman — Definitely not “boring.”