PLEASE, WINGNUTS, DON'T HURT ME
I'm a little late getting to this, but it occurs to me that the Rob Portman trial balloon is an effort to determine whether Mitt Romney's masters in the crazy base would deign to permit him to pick Portman.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- There is no doubt in the minds of Republican National Committee members that Mitt Romney will be their standard bearer in the fall, and already consensus is building behind one potential vice presidential nominee -- Ohio Sen. Rob Portman.
In an informal survey of more than half of the Republican State Chairmen and national committee people at this weekend's State Chairman meeting at a resort here, two-thirds said they believe Portman is the most-likely and best-qualified running-mate for Mitt Romney. The committee members spoke to BuzzFeed only on the condition of anonymity....
The party establishment and the Romney campaign know that the crazy baseheads wouldn't give a crap whether the muckamucks like Portman if Portman failed to meet one of their dozens and dozens of litmus tests. So they wanted to put his name out there to see whether, say, Erick Erickson would declare that Portman is nothing but a pathetic sellout Sorosite liberal, or whether the Jesusites would howl in anguish. (On the latter score, I think they're cool:
According to Phil Burress, chairman of the Citizens for Community Values (CCV), Portman is pro-life and pro-business.
"Senator Portman is not only a conservative, but he is also a friend of mine, and I've known him before he even ran for Congress in the first place. So we're going to have a tremendous pro-life, pro-family senator who will be representing us," he reports.
Burress is a well known crusader against gay rights and pornography. (He's also, by his own admission, a former porn addict, but I think that actually elevates his status among fundies -- he once was lost but now he's found and all that.) Burress's word counts for a lot, so I guess Portman really does check the God-botherer box.
And I haven't heard any howls about him from the more feral precincts of the right. No, I don't think anyone really cares that he was Bush's budget director during a time a massive deficits, because the crazy base only pretends to hate debts and deficits run up by Republicans. Especially if he's a fundy the mainstream press probably doesn't recognize as a fundy, I won't be surprised if he's Romney's pick.