Let Me Start: Change of heart

Updated
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speaks to reporters in the spin room after the second presidential debate at Hofstra University, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012 Hempstead,...
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speaks to reporters in the spin room after the second presidential debate at Hofstra University, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012 Hempstead,...
Photo by Mary Altaffer/AP Photo, File

A dramatic reversal on gay marriage by an influential Republican senator: Ohio’s Rob Portman now says he supports gay marriage, a change of heart triggered after his son came out. Portman, who played President Obama in Mitt Romney’s debate prep and has been a senior leader in the Republican party, could help shepherd marriage equality to acceptance by his GOP peers. It’s a tall order, considering his party has included in its platform language against same-sex marriage. But still, Portman’s transformation is emblematic of much of the nation, which has moved quickly to accept same-sex marriage.

CPAC: Even without popular governors Chris Christie of New Jersey and Bob McDonnell of Virginia, the division within the Republican party is being laid bare at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul have very different visions for the party and the country, and that was clear yesterday.

Politico’s Maggie Haberman asks whether Sarah Palin - who’s speaking at CPAC - has a second act in her future, and whether it’s as a candidate or a ‘Kardashian’. Good question. We’re betting on Kardashian.

Among the speakers at CPAC today: Mitt Romney, whose appearance will likely be met with indifference.

House Speaker John Boehner is explaining why Republicans are digging in on taxes and spending: He says that the personalities of candidates explains his party’s losses in November more than their stance on budget issues, and he won’t be deterred from pushing for a smaller federal government with lower taxes and less spending.

Let Me Start: Change of heart

Updated