Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 22, 2014

Rob Portman Plunges Forward With Boating Hobby

Sen. Rob Portman spent the weekend doing something he loves: working hard toward a definable goal with a tangible outcome.

Needless to say, this all happened miles away from Washington, D.C.

The Ohio Republican put the finishing touches on a boat storage project he’d been tinkering with beneath his home; the end product looks well thought out and perfectly secure — attributes no longer shared by most anything up for consideration in the bitterly partisan Senate.

Still, it sounds like Portman doesn’t let the acrimony dampen his spirit.

A longtime kayaking enthusiast — he’s carved his way through waterways ranging from the Colorado River to the Yangtze — Portman has, in recent years, begun volunteering with Team River Runner, a group dedicated to helping disabled military veterans develop a passion for paddling.

An aide said Portman has gone out with TRR at least a couple of times, most notably during the last Congress’ down-to-the-wire debt reduction debate when he was on the bipartisan super committee.

“I know he got out more often with River Runners on the David Taylor Model Basin when he was stuck here weekends for super committee,” the Portman staffer told HOH, noting that the boss has a kayak hanging in his office.

His latest aquatic adventure was tackling the 12th Annual Ohio River Paddlefest in late July. Portman has participated in the friendly float along the stretch of river that flows past Cincinnati for the past four years, hitting the water with his son, Will, and, most recently, with daughter, Sally.

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