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Julie Irwin Zimmerman
There are times when the crime lab at the Hamilton County Coroner's Office functions like an episode of CSI: NY. Take, for instance, the case of the Hilton Netherland Plaza security guard who was stabbed to death December 7 in a stairwell of the hotel.
Jane Portman, wife of U.S. Senator Rob Portman, is the mother of three almost-grown children, a volunteer tutor and driver for Meals On Wheels, as well as a former MBA student, communications professional, and White House intern. Her admirers say she is also proof that her famously disciplined husband can’t possibly be boring. On a late July day I met Portman, who is 52, at her house along the Little Miami River in Terrace Park. Her whole family was home—her husband and younger son Will had just returned from a training ride for an upcoming bike race, and her older son Jed and daughter Sally wandered in and out. In an age when political wives are a subject of avid curiosity in pop culture circles—as television series like The Good Wife and Political Animals and Curtis Sittenfeld’s novel American Wife show—Jane Portman projects a decidedly more down-to-earth profile. With son Will standing in as her handler (that’s a joke, though he did sit in on the interview), she talked about the ideal chicken coop, her so-so first date with her husband, life inside the Beltway versus Cincinnati, and what the future holds for her. What new adventures may lie ahead for her husband, who reportedly has been vetted by the Romney campaign in its search for a vice-presidential running mate, had yet to be determined at press time.