Hmmm: Rob Portman to meet with Bibi Netanyahu on Thursday

posted at 8:32 pm on May 29, 2012 by Allahpundit

I know that Netanyahu frequently meets with visiting American pols, but most visiting American pols aren’t exceptionally strong contenders to land on the GOP ticket. Which raises the question: What’s more significant here, that Portman sought this meeting or that Bibi granted it knowing Portman’s status?

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday in Israel. An Israeli official confirmed the meeting to ABC News Tuesday…

The Israeli official was unaware of speculation about Portman’s reported place on Romney’s shortlist and highlighted that Netanyahu makes every effort to meet visiting American politicians.

Uh huh. Forgive me for believing that Israel’s leadership follows American politics closely enough to know who the major players might be in the next administration. And forgive me for thinking that Netanyahu’s secretly enjoying the chance to tweak his “friend” Barry by granting a high-profile photo op to the guy who’s likely to be playing attack dog against the White House in a few months. What I really want to know is whether Portman requested this visit on his own, in order to impress Romney by boosting his pro-Israel credentials, or whether Romney might already have quietly settled on Portman as his VP and requested the visit on Portman’s behalf as part of an early rollout effort to the conservative base. (“Insiders” are awfully high on him.) My sense is that, if Portman’s tapped, grassroots righties will find him unobjectionable but a letdown compared to Rubio. Doing stuff like this now to earn goodwill will help minimize the disappointment. Coming soon, perhaps: A “major speech” on spending and debt?

Then again, he’s not the only VP contender to visit with Netanyahu lately so maybe we shouldn’t read too much into it. Exit question: If it’s a pro-Israel friend-of-Bibi VP that you want, isn’t there already an obvious solution?


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Would Portman even swing a substantial number of votes in Ohio, much less other states?

DKCZ on May 29, 2012 at 8:36 PM

No Huckabee. Just no. Portman isn’t bad, really. I have no problem with him.

crosspatch on May 29, 2012 at 8:36 PM

I think you are reading way too much into it. Netanyahu knows that just about anyone (with the exception of Luap Nor) will be more sympathetic towards Israel then Obama.

Hilts on May 29, 2012 at 8:36 PM

no way Huckabee – he was partly responsible for getting McCain the nomination in 2008. He is a Bible thumping Progressive.

Hilts on May 29, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Totally ignoring Nancy Pelosi’s foray into foreign visits while Bush was President, you can bet Team Barry will not approve of Portman’s visit.

Not to worry, the HYPOCRISY won’t bother them.

GarandFan on May 29, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Please pick a stronger VP candidate than Portman, Mitt. Please.

talkingpoints on May 29, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Has anyone considered who will fill his seat if he is tapped, and more over if Romney actually wins? Not to be a worry wart, but as Blago would say, “this is a f——- valuable thing”. I couldn’t imagine nothing more sexually satisfying for Democrats than to welcome a Romney presidency with a seat snatch.

JamesSeanMcKeane on May 29, 2012 at 8:40 PM

charge of the RINO’s !!!!!

All hail the new assistant to the Republican patron saint of mediocrity!

lm10001 on May 29, 2012 at 8:42 PM

Portman is trying out for Sec. of State. Despite rumors to the contrary, Romney will not pick another boring White guy to be on the ticket.

SouthernGent on May 29, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Can’t say for others but I don’t want Rubio as VP. I’ll tolerate the presence of a pro-Amnesty SOPA sponsor in the Senate but having him on the ticket is a major turn off, possibly as far as sitting the election out.

Archivarix on May 29, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Romney and Netanyahu started out at Bain Capital together after they finished their MBAs. I doubt Bibi would do this without clearing it with Mitt.

Wethal on May 29, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Would Portman even swing a substantial number of votes in Ohio, much less other states?

DKCZ on May 29, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Romney/Portman would not be an exciting ticket by any stretch but perhaps, considering the train wreck currently occupying the WH, the thinking is to forget excitement and go with hard with competence.

As to your question, no, I don’t think Portman is the key to winning Ohio but he doesn’t hurt either.

Bitter Clinger on May 29, 2012 at 8:47 PM

If it’s a pro-Israel friend-of-Bibi VP that you want, isn’t there already an obvious solution?

noooooooooooooo

cmsinaz on May 29, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Portman’s OK. By why settle for OK when a real conservative such as _____________ could fire up the base?

Rixon on May 29, 2012 at 8:49 PM

Riiiigh. Portman is as perfect a candidate for VP as there is. Seasoned, not at the beginning of his political career. Israelis follow American politics as closely as Jews in New York do (like me!).

PS: We’re beyond state-based and region-based VP picks. Portman is credible nation-wide, and that’s the essential.

ParisParamus on May 29, 2012 at 8:50 PM

I think you are reading way too much into it. Netanyahu knows that just about anyone (with the exception of Luap Nor) will be more sympathetic towards Israel then Obama.

Hilts on May 29, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Ron Paul may hate Israel, even though I personally doubt that, but at least he won’t finance Israel’s sworn enemies with our money. Compared to Obama, even Cindy Sheehan looks kinda moderate.

Archivarix on May 29, 2012 at 8:50 PM

The Israeli official was unaware of speculation about Portman’s reported place on Romney’s shortlist and highlighted that Netanyahu makes every effort to meet visiting American politicians.

Phht. Bibi has a copy of little Bammie’s real birth certificate.

slickwillie2001 on May 29, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Is there a problem with meeting with Netanyahu? Israel is one of our closest allies so why not meet with them if you are Portman? Heck, Romney should go to Israel asap and one up Obama…Obama is too busy to go there himself and also not a friend of Israel so why the heck would be go

sadsushi on May 29, 2012 at 8:53 PM

This is all a diversion. Romney has settled on Allahpundit as his VEEP. Allah stop trying to hid it. Clearly, Romney wants to appeal to the beta male, cat loving population ;).

aebloo on May 29, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

RedNewEnglander on May 29, 2012 at 8:59 PM

I agree; NO HUCKABEE. Right after McCain/Palin received the nomination in 2008, Huckabee was on the air – probably on Fox – trashing them. I didn’t care much for him before, and I’ve yet to watch him or listen to him since then.

AubieJon on May 29, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Ron Paul may hate Israel, even though I personally doubt that, but at least he won’t finance Israel’s sworn enemies with our money.

Archivarix on May 29, 2012 at 8:50 PM

I keep trying to point this out to American Zionists, but it goes in one ear and out the other. For people who supposedly want to defund the Arab terrorist states…

MelonCollie on May 29, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Y’all need to get over your Huckahatred.

Huckabee’s a cogent and charming speaker. He’s a superb blend of folksy and cultured in his presentation, is socially solid, and is a perfect populist.

Rob Portman on the other hand is… what, exactly?

Stoic Patriot on May 29, 2012 at 9:05 PM

First of all, I wish Gov Romney would go to Israel. He knows Bibi and obama has not even set foot on Israeli soil.

I want Rubio! So if you’re so stupid that you will sit this out then you deserve the destruction of this country, but most of us don’t and neither does the country.

Bambi on May 29, 2012 at 9:07 PM

We just had a call from ESA wanting to know what our utility bill is. I asked him why, “does obama want to pay my utility bill now.” His answer was, “pretty much!”
I gave the phone to my husband and he let him have it, telling him that he has been a utility man for 25 years and knows our local utility (which this guy said they weren’t interested in keeping our rates down) and we were not interested in telling him anything.

OK, my question. Does anyone know about this? What is ESA? Is this another obama hand out to get votes?

I know it’s not on topic, but I’m going to get into this and see what exactly it is.

Bambi on May 29, 2012 at 9:12 PM

Portman won his Senatorial election roughly 60-40. He may be one of the most popular politicians in Ohio.

knob on May 29, 2012 at 9:14 PM

If Romney insists on going with a Suckeye for VP, he ought to go with Gov Johnny K. The lad looks good on TV, and he knows how to fight dirty.

JohnGalt23 on May 29, 2012 at 9:16 PM

Conservatives are crazy to dismiss Portman…he is heavy weight

Portman is one of the most dynamic Republicans in the country, he’d be a superb VEEP for Mittens

corujodp on May 29, 2012 at 9:20 PM

I. Will. Stay. Home if Chuckabee is the veep choice. No effing way.
Luckily-there will be no need because he won’t be veep.

annoyinglittletwerp on May 29, 2012 at 9:23 PM

Would Portman even swing a substantial number of votes in Ohio, much less other states?

DKCZ on May 29, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Yes.

He has an unbelievable ground game.
Team Portman gives the GOP a better Ohio network than the one Obama’s been building for 4 years. The Portman family owns the oldest business in the state, the family is as Ohio as Taft. Portman also has deep ties with Ohio’s Hispanic community and he speaks Spanish.

Portman will deliver Ohio

corujodp on May 29, 2012 at 9:28 PM

hi ap.

bibi is an old friend of mitt’s.

and a man who has met dozens of presidents/pm’s/premiers etc.

bibi knows if a man is qualified or not.

he will grill portman and give mitt his frank opinion

reliapundit on May 29, 2012 at 9:30 PM

If Romney insists on going with a Suckeye for VP, he ought to go with Gov Johnny K. The lad looks good on TV, and he knows how to fight dirty.

JohnGalt23 on May 29, 2012 at 9:16 PM

Portman would be more likely to deliver Ohio than Kasich would at this point. Kasich’s still under water from his SB5 defeat. And now he wants to “pay for” an income tax decrease by increasing taxes on frackers and other energy providers.

Bitter Clinger on May 29, 2012 at 9:36 PM

portman. rich white male. tied at the neck with the bushies. what could go wrong?

renalin on May 29, 2012 at 9:41 PM

If Portman doesn’t make it on the ticket, he’ll likely end up in the Cabinet, quite possibly as Secretary of State. Makes sense for Bibi to meet with him, if he thinks Romney has ANY chance of winning in November. And Romney definitely has a chance. Israel hasn’t survived where it is by ignoring contingency planning, how ever great or small the likelihood.

notropis on May 29, 2012 at 9:41 PM

anybody but obummer

my dog, your dog, hell even a cat, just no obama.

losarkos on May 29, 2012 at 9:46 PM

If Obama can tour europe prior to 2008 elections, why not show him that someone without muslim ties will actually visit Israel

audiotom on May 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Portman is solid, folks. He’s a good conservative, and he won’t embarrass himself. Plus he’ll mop the floor with Plugs in a debate.

KeepOhioRed on May 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dick Lugar, Olympia Snowe and Lisa Murkowski will be tickled pink with Portman as Veep.

Afterseven on May 29, 2012 at 9:59 PM

…Condi Rice!

KOOLAID2 on May 29, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Plus he’ll mop the floor with Plugs in a debate.

KeepOhioRed

he will mop the floor with hillary.

biden is gone.

reliapundit on May 29, 2012 at 10:00 PM

no way Huckabee – he was partly responsible for getting McCain the nomination in 2008. He is a Bible thumping Progressive.

Hilts on May 29, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Well the ticket certainly doesn’t need two Progressives!

tom on May 29, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Romney and Bibi are buds…Israel can not stand the liar and chief we have…why else would obama not go and visit Israel…he hates them after being fed the lies at wrights church about ole whitey and the Jew…he bows to every dictator and would love it if Israel gave up more to his muslim buds…the muslims will never be satisfied but they apparently have not the Old Testament…God gave that land to the Israelis and it will stay that way….God also does not like people messin with His peeps even if He is ticked at them……….wife and I are heading there in two weeks

crosshugger on May 29, 2012 at 10:03 PM

yuck and ick!

NOMITTNOBAMA 2012!

Pragmatic on May 29, 2012 at 10:04 PM

two very, very white dudes?! it ain’t gonna fly y’all!
NOMITTNOBAMA 2012!

Pragmatic on May 29, 2012 at 10:05 PM

I agree; NO HUCKABEE. Right after McCain/Palin received the nomination in 2008, Huckabee was on the air – probably on Fox – trashing them. I didn’t care much for him before, and I’ve yet to watch him or listen to him since then.

AubieJon on May 29, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Sounds like Romney and Huckabee would at least be simpatico. But I thought there was bad blood between them.

Can’t say I care for either of them. Portman? He could do worse….

tom on May 29, 2012 at 10:05 PM

…why else would obama not go and visit Israel…

crosshugger on May 29, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Obama did visit Israel.

Punchenko on May 29, 2012 at 10:29 PM

wife and I are heading there in two weeks

crosshugger on May 29, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Be sure to spread the Gospel while you’re over there. More Christian Israelis is a good thing. :-)

Punchenko on May 29, 2012 at 10:34 PM

Man, talk about a dull ticket if Portman gets the VP spot. Who the hell even knows who this guy is?! Besides that, he just looks odd. So sick of the GOP ticket already.

TruLevinian on May 29, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Portman will be the Republican vp candidate since Cheney to be able to put a coherent thought together in words.

Rock on Mittens!

rickyricardo on May 29, 2012 at 11:01 PM

I want Rubio! So if you’re so stupid that you will sit this out then you deserve the destruction of this country, but most of us don’t and neither does the country.

Bambi on May 29, 2012 at 9:07 PM

Don’t worry about the “tantrum” voters.

Even as big a ship of fools as the McCain 2008 team knew you don’t spend a split second worrying about the “tantrum” voters.

They don’t influence anybody.
They don’t affect volunteer GOTV efforts.
They have no value to contribute to a team effort.

It is now and ever shall be ALL about THEM

Now where have we seen that sort of behavior before …

PolAgnostic on May 29, 2012 at 11:06 PM

Dull and Duller – 2012

Schadenfreude on May 29, 2012 at 11:15 PM

I can’t think of a worse VP choice than Portman.

He has the charisma of Mitch Daniels, the conservative record of Huckabee, and the tea party cred of Christie. A complete disaster.

If Romney is smart, he will pick someone like Jindal. If he wants to reinforce conservative doubts about his candidacy and make millions of conservatives consider staying home, he should go with this establishment loser Portman.

Norwegian on May 29, 2012 at 11:16 PM

Two middle aged white guys dancing to Leo Sayer circa 1978.

Yeah, they may be great actuaries by day but they are out of sync with the base. Can’t really dance to their tune, I’d give them a 70.

R Square on May 30, 2012 at 12:47 AM

Too much speculation. The Israeli position is they want to have as many American pol friends as they can.

AlexB on May 30, 2012 at 1:21 AM

Portman looks like your typical invisible Washington insider; held a bunch of jobs, got elected a bunch of times, votes the way the party says, doesn’t seem to have an opinion other that the party’s, has no screw-ups attached to his name NOR any accomplishments.

Portman may bring Ohio and beltway backbencher experience to the ticket, but he certainly doesn’t seem to bring any of his own principles, let alone the Tea Party. No excitement here.

KenInIL on May 30, 2012 at 2:04 AM

Then again, he’s not the only VP contender to visit with Netanyahu lately so maybe we shouldn’t read too much into it. Exit question: If it’s a pro-Israel friend-of-Bibi VP that you want, isn’t there already an obvious solution?

Oh, barf? The Huckster? Seriously? It’s bad enough to settle for Mitt at the top, but the Huckster for Veep?

How many kicks to the groin are conservatives expected to take and still show up on election day?!?!?!

insidiator on May 30, 2012 at 8:02 AM

Has anyone considered who will fill his seat if he is tapped, and more over if Romney actually wins? Not to be a worry wart, but as Blago would say, “this is a f——- valuable thing”. I couldn’t imagine nothing more sexually satisfying for Democrats than to welcome a Romney presidency with a seat snatch.

There will be 4 years left on Portman’s term as of next Congress. If he steps down to take the VP, his seat will be filled by our Repub governor, John Kasich. No seat loss.

As far as delivering OH, yes, there is a good chance. Portman is from Cincinnati, where Romney will need to run very well to win the state. Portman ran about 8 points better than Kasich in the 2010 election. It certainly won’t hurt.

FuzzyLogic on May 30, 2012 at 9:41 AM

The “we won’t hurt you” ticket.

R Square on May 30, 2012 at 10:18 AM

ParisParamus on May 29, 2012 at 8:50 PM

I doubt most of the country has ever heard of him.

magicbeans on May 30, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy….. If we don’t get a popular, well known candidate for VP we will lose to obumble, and the elite GOP will evaporate into the dustbin of history. Surely Romney wouldn’t make that mistake…. if he does, he was the wrong candidate….. again.

ultracon on May 30, 2012 at 3:55 PM