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The Case For Portman

Rob Portman has sort of dropped off the radar of late, with all the buzz around Romney and Pawlenty. Nevertheless, Chris Cillizza continues his series on the potential VP candidates with Portman today:

If Washington-based political operatives picked the vice president, Portman would have it hands down.

Portman is beloved on Capitol Hill and within the Bush Administration as that rare breed of politician who is equally conversant -- and skilled -- at policy and politics. (The Fix can attest to the rarity of that sort of politician; the only two who immediately jump to mind are Sen. Lindsey Graham and former governor Mark Warner.)

While Portman's status as the preferred candidate of Washington insiders isn't a great trait to have in a year in which voters are angry at the nation's capital and its residents, Portman's status among this group is more important than you might think.

The first obvious impact of picking Portman would be to quiet some of the whispers -- and even a few on-the-record comments -- from the permanent political class in Washington about the mistakes McCain is making in his campaign.