CINCINNATI - Gov. Mitt Romney has not yet named a running mate, but his wife Ann told Robin Roberts on "Good Morning America" Wednesday morning that he's "close."
Terrace Park's own Sen. Rob Portman, is still considered one of the top two or three contenders. So here's a look at how Portman's career has steadily risen almost from the beginning.
Robert Jones Portman was born and raised in Cincinnati, shaped by a father who was determined to make his forklift company a success.
Just before he left the Tri-State for the Senate, Portman said his dad had a profound influence on him.
"I never would have had this passion for getting involved in trying to help create jobs if hadn't been raised in small business family," Portman said. "My dad when he was 40 years old, decided to leave his job as salesman with a larger company, he took a big risk to start his own business."
Portman graduated from Cincinnati Country Day, Dartmouth, and the University of Michigan law school.
Portman was elected to Congress in 1993, and served six terms.
Next it was on to the White House. President George W. Bush tapped Portman to serve as US Trade Representative in 2005. Thirteen months later, Bush named him Budget Director.
After a year he resigned and returned to the Tri-State to spend time with his family.
"Rob is a very grounded father. I think he believes that it is important for kids to learn on their own, learn from their own mistakes but he is there, he is present, he's available," said his wife Jane Portman.
In early 2009, Sen. George Voinivich announced he would not seek re-election. This happened on a Monday, and by Wednesday Portman announced he would run to succeed him. He defeated Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher.
Portman said his top priorities were jobs and the economy.
Speculation about Romney's righthand man has been swirling for months, so 9 News asked Portman what he would say if Romney asked him to run with him.
"I'd say I can help you more here where I am," Portman said.
And we asked him again. Same answer.
There seems to be little doubt that Portman ranks high on Romney's short list, but the talk isn't always flattering.
Jane says when people call her husband a "boring white guy" that "they clearly don't know him well."
"Rob is a doer, he's a giver, he's a listener, he's got more energy than almost anyone I've ever met," Jane added. "Those are all great qualities to be admired, in a friend, in a husband, in a partner and certainly I think it is the quality that people are looking for in this country."
Maybe the next time Portman throws out the first pitch on Opening Day it could be as the vice president from Ohio.
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