Could the running mate of the Republicans' presidential nominee come from Ohio?
Well, according to Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, indeed he could. In a column on Sen. Rob Portman, he's described as "the boring Midwesterner who could bring sanity to the debt debate." Milbank goes on to say, "Portman is as conservative as they come and, along with Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), is a favorite to be the GOP vice presidential candidate."
Some points to consider: Ohio as usual is one of the key states President Obama and his eventual challenger will agressively target next year. In fact, a recent Columbus Dispatch report shows the Democratic Party already has troops moving on the ground. Portman isn't up for re-election, so he has no risk of losing his seat.
Instead, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) is the one whose seat is up for grabs. Polling anaylsts have gone back and forth about how difficult it will be for Brown to retain his seat. In the most recent poll available from Public Policy Polling, Brown enjoys a commanding lead over all his potential GOP rivals.
Despite riding the Tea Party wave in 2010, Gov. John Kasich (R) has fallen deeply out of favor with much of the Ohio electorate. Another PPP poll shows 56 percent of Ohio voters disapprove of his job performance.
Milbank makes the point that in this period of hyper-partisanship, Portman could prove to be a refreshing element in an otherwise bitter race. "Until recently, Portman’s seriousness wouldn’t have been unusual. But in this generation of lawmakers obsessed with the next election, Portman is part of a dwindling sanity caucus," Milbank writes.
You can also check out another recent profile of Portman and his work on the jobs issue as well.
While we're on the subject of what's next for Ohio politicians, former Attorney General Richard Cordray (D) is making national news for his new job:
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is vowing to fight any efforts to block the work of a new consumer protection bureau as he introduces a former Ohio attorney general to run the agency.
If confirmed by the Senate, Richard Cordray would head the agency tasked with being a government watchdog over mortgages, credit cards and other forms of lending. Obama says the agency will protect the public from financial fraud and abuse.
Obama and Cordray were joined in the Rose Garden by Elizabeth Warren, a special assistant to the president who had been charged with getting the agency started. Consumer groups wanted her to head it, but she was strongly opposed by Republicans and would have faced a difficult confirmation fight.
Republicans have already threatened to block Cordray's Senate confirmation as well.