President Bush’s selection of U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman as the new director of the Office of Management and Budget is good news for conservatives.
Portman is an articulate former congressman who brings a conservative record to the job. His lifetime American Conservative Union rating is 89%, which is probably as good as anyone could have expected from this free-spending White House.
(I was still holding out hope that the President was trying to win over some moderates in the Senate to tap former Rep. Pat Toomey for the job. But that wasn’t to be.)
Our political editor, John Gizzi, who knows Portman, will have complete coverage of the story later today over at the Gizz-ette. Stay tuned.
UPDATE — 10:39 a.m.: Rep. Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the Republican Study Committee’s Budget and Spending Taskforce, just weighed in with an endorsement of Portman. With Hensarling singing Portman’s praises, I’m now even more excited about Bush’s selection.
Here is Hensarling’s statement:
“I am excited that President Bush has chosen an experienced and effective leader like Rob Portman to head the Office of Management and Budget.
“As a former Member of Congress, Rob Portman had the rare distinction of being both well-respected and well-liked. He understands the importance of spending restraint, pro-growth tax policies and budget process reform.
“His institutional knowledge and budget expertise will help Congress and the Bush Administration work together to help protect the family budget from the growth of the federal budget.”
UPDATE — 10:58 a.m.: Click here for the President’s official announcement.