Rob Portman

Congress today is spending its time on an unusual pursuit: debating a significant piece of legislation. With debate in Syria sidelined, the Senate is taking up the first major piece of energy legislation to hit the floor since 2007—and it has an actual chance of passing the bill, to boot.

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Junior Goes to Washington

On gay marriage, political kids are calling the shots

On gay marriage, political kids are calling the shots.

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During the past two weeks, the dynamic of the 2012 presidential election has shifted, and President Obama has moved out to a modest but significant lead against Mitt Romney. No developments in the economy or the world can explain this shift. That leaves the campaigns themselves.

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One of Mitt Romney’s biggest challenges as presidential candidate may be to win public acceptance of a Protestant sect that is poorly understood by a majority of the public. Its practices, historically, have differed dramatically from those of mainline denominations, particularly during the 19th century, when its members engaged in odd sexual behavior and upended the conventional family structure.

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One of Mitt Romney’s biggest challenges as presidential candidate may be to win public acceptance of a Protestant sect that is poorly understood by a majority of the public. Its practices, historically, have differed dramatically from those of mainline denominations, particularly during the 19th century, when its members engaged in odd sexual behavior and upended the conventional family structure.

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I have no idea whom Mitt Romney will choose as his running mate. But I’m fairly certain about who he ought to choose: Rob Portman. Here’s why. Every successful presidential campaign has a theory of the case—a clear conception of the path to victory—which it works in every way to reinforce. This theory must begin with the character, experience, and priorities of the candidate and with the context in which the candidate is operating.

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Rapacious capitalists ain't what they used to be. "Law? What do I care about the law?" the shipping and railroad tycoon Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt (1794-1877)  famously bellowed (in legend, if not in fact). "Hain't I got the power?" His son William (1821-1885) demonstrated a similar indifference to public opinion when he said, "The public be damned.... I don't take any stock in this silly nonsense about working for anybody's good but our own, because we are not." The banking tycoon J.P. Morgan (1837-1913) held the same view, and didn't hesitate to articulate it.

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On May 31, standing in front of Solyndra’s vacant headquarters, Mitt Romney lambasted President Obama for granting the company a $528 million loan guarantee.

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Rob Portman has been enjoying his moment of buzz for a couple weeks now. The aggressively unobtrusive Ohio senator—a former congressman and trade representative and budget director in George W.  Bush’s administration—is the insiders’ top bet to be Mitt Romney’s running mate, and today he got his big Washington Post Style profile, a rather Seinfeldesque piece that was basically about the weird nothingness that is the state of being a veep short-lister.

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