Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Portman for Veep?

Confused readers may infer from the headline above that Natalie Portman, a popular and comely actress best known as Princess Amidala in Episodes 1, 2, and 3 of the Star Wars movies and for her most recent role as The Other Boleyn Girl (or does she play the other Boleyn girl?), is under consideration for vice president. Not so.

No, the Portman in the headline is former Republican Congressman Rob Portman, who has also served as U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Capitol Hill is buzzing with the possibility that John McCain, who sewed up his party's nomination for President yesterday with sweeping victories in Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont, will choose the former Member of Congress as his running mate.

Portman brings a lot to the table as a potential vice-presidential candidate. Born in 1955, he adds a youthful profile to a ticket that will include the oldest-ever major-party presidential nominee. He has administrative experience as the head of two large executive-branch agencies. Not only does he have direct legislative experience from his days on Capitol Hill (1993-2005), but he has worked as a legislative liaison in the administration of George H.W. Bush.

Moreover, Portman is a popular vote-getter from the swing state of Ohio, which is a must-win for any presidential ticket. (Had Ohio swung the other way four years ago, President John Kerry would be seeking re-election today.) In each of his six elections to Congress, Portman trounced his Democratic opponents, never falling below 72 percent of the vote in those contests.

Right now, Portman's potential as McCain's choice is under the radar, although a few mainstream publications have mentioned his name among a long list of possible running mates. (Among these mentions are Foreign Policy, the Mail & Guardian in South Africa, and the New York Times.)

McCain has six months to choose a running mate, and his choice must be ratified by the delegates to the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis in September. No doubt McCain and his advisors are going to wait to see what the outcome of the Democratic party's nomination contest before making any final decisions.


Anonymous said...

Even if she wanted to be John McCain's running mate, Natalie Portman isn't qualified. She's too young: A vice president has to be 35 years old, and Miss Portman is only 26.

Maybe in a few years; after all, she showed herself to be quite a passionate, if ineffective, politician as a member of the Galactic Senate.

Anonymous said...

Natalie Portman has an even greater disqualification than age. She was born in Israel.

Anonymous said...

Portman for VP is crazy. According to this Qunnipiac poll, he doesn't even help McCain in SW OH which he represented, let alone the rest of OH.