July 18, 2012 -- Political observers are on high alert as speculation continues to mount that Mitt Romney could announce his pick for Vice President as early as this week. ABC News has ranked the contenders, and in the top tier are Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
Extensive profiles have been written about these possible picks, but we want to tell you some things you may not have otherwise seen. Here is a list of nine facts about Rob Portman:
1.) Portman has written one book -- but unlike most politicos, he has not written a memoir, biography, or anything politically oriented. Portman's book, titled "Wisdom's Paradise: The Forgotten Shakers of Union Village" is a book about a Shaker village near Lebanon, Ohio.
2.) He's fluent in Spanish.
3.) He's an avid kayaker.
4.) Portman's wife, Jane, once worked for former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.
5.) Portman served in both Bush presidencies. He was the Director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs under George H.W. Bush, and he served both as trade representative and budget director under George W. Bush.
6.) He's a graduate of Dartmouth College, where he majored in anthropology, and the University of Michigan Law School.
7.) He's an actor...of sorts. Portman played opposite George W. Bush and John McCain in their presidential debate prep exercises. He played the role of Al Gore in 2000, and the role of Barack Obama in 2008.
8.) He's not at Mitt Romney's level of wealth, but he's very comfortable. According to his most recent personal financial disclosure, Portman's wealth is somewhere between $1.3 million and $16.3 million.
9.) Along with his siblings, Portman owns a hotel in Lebanon, Ohio called The Golden Lamb, which is rumored to be haunted.