Whether or not Rob Portman is your cup of tea for Mitt Romney's running mate (Keith Urbahn makes a good case against in the most recent installment of the "Young Guns" podcast), give the guy this: he's a dude. I mean, a serious dude.
Check out this anecdote from a new Associated Press story:
In Chile early this year, powerful rapids flipped [Portman's] kayak over, dislocating his right shoulder.
"I had to get out of the boat because I'm underwater, bouncing down the rapids, and getting hit by a number of rocks all over my body. And I couldn't use my right arm," Portman said.
His son Will's kayak had already disappeared around a bend ahead of him, so no one knew of his plight. The 56-year-old senator got behind a large rock, holding on "for my dear life" with his left hand, wondering how to reach shore with one arm working.
"That was pretty scary," he said.
Portman said he thought of the 1989 movie "Lethal Weapon 2," when the Gibson character escapes a straitjacket by intentionally dislocating his shoulder, then gets it back in place by crashing against a file cabinet.
"Honestly, that was what flashed through my mind — Mel Gibson. So I took my shoulder, slammed it against the rock, and the shoulder popped in. I couldn't feel my arm, but I could use my arm. I was able to swim to shore."
Portman said he walked out of the canyon on his own, pleased about time spent years ago watching "Lethal Weapon" movies.
Just to review: if Portman gets the nod to be Romney's running mate, then the last three Republican vice presidential nominees will be a man who shot a hunting partner in the face; a woman who can field dress a moose; and a guy capable of channeling his inner Sergeant Riggs in South American white water.
None of them may ever be president, but I sure hope to God somebody's contacted them about the third movie in "The Expendables" series.