Mike Kueber's Blog

July 6, 2012

Rob Portman

Filed under: People,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 2:10 pm

While discussing the VP sweepstakes with my conservative friend yesterday, he told me that conservative radio hosts continue to love Marco Rubio (uber charisma) and discount Rob Portman (too much wealth) and Tim Pawlenty (too boring).  Because Portman has become the favorite in the VP sweepstakes, and because my friend has been known to provide me with misinformation, I decided to confirm his Portman charge.

According to Wikipedia:

  • Portman was born in 1955 in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of Joan (née Jones) and entrepreneur William C. “Bill” Portman II. Portman was raised in a United Methodist home. His patrilineal great-grandfather, surnamed “Portmann”, immigrated from Switzerland; Portman also has Scottish, Northern Irish, English, and German ancestry.  When he was young, his father borrowed money to start the Portman Equipment Company, a forklift dealership where he and his siblings all worked growing up. The company grew from a small business with five employees and Joan Portman as bookkeeper to one that employed over 300 people

Although this Wikipedia paragraph doesn’t reveal Portman as being born with a silver spoon, a subsequent paragraph reveals him to be a career politician:

  • Portman graduated from Cincinnati Country Day School in 1974, where he had served as treasurer of his class, and went on to attend Dartmouth College, where he majored in anthropology and earned a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in 1979. Portman then entered the University of Michigan Law School, earning his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree in 1984.  After graduating, Portman moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked as a lobbyist for the firm Patton Boggs. Portman married his wife, Jane, in 1986. His wife, who had worked for Democratic Congressman Tom Daschle, “agreed to become a Republican when her husband agreed to become a Methodist.”  In 1989, Portman began his career in government as an associate White House Counsel under President George H. W. Bush. He later served as Director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs until 1991 [and then beginning elective office in 1993]. 

According to OpenSecrets.com, Portman’s finances are as follows: 

  • Net Worth: From $1,325,069 to $16,283,999; rank: 26th in Senate
  • Assets: 65 totaling $6,325,069 to $17,284,000
  • Liabilities: 1 totaling $1,000,001 to $5,000,000

I’m not a big fan of career politicians, but it seems that I will not have the option to support a non-career politician in the VP sweepstakes because all of the leading candidates except NJ’s Chris Christie are career politicians.  So much for our government by ordinary citizens.


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