Clearly Republican Bob Portman wants the media talking up the notion that he’s considering a run for the presidency. But given his deep ties to D.C. and both previous Bush administrations, one has to wonder how he would keep any wind in the sails of a prospective campaign if Jeb Bush opts to throw his hat in the ring, as well.
He’s positioning himself an the anti-Obama but, without any serious executive experience and a reputation as a Washington insider, the real risk for Portman at this early stage is looking like just another Republican running for the nomination in 2016 should the field become at all crowded.
“I probably have more experience than other people who are running or thinking about running,” he said. The first-term senator and policy wonk could run as a sort of anti-Obama — a swing state pragmatist with a loaded resume.
Portman certainly wouldn’t run as an outsider. He embraces his previous White House experience having worked for both Bush administrations. He went so far as to point out his executive branch background is both foreign and domestic.
He traveled overseas as counsel to the 41st president and later served as the U.S. Trade Representative under the 43rd. He worked in the legislative affairs office of the elder George Bush and was budget director for his son, developing relationships on Capitol Hill that span decades. His experience could also make a bid difficult in a GOP primary. Portman ran the White House budget office in t years when tax cuts and war spending spun up government spending and added to growing deficits.