UPDATE: Cathy McMorris Rodgers was chosen by Republicans in the U.S. House for a top leadershp post, despite her opponent, Tom Price of Georgia, being the darling of staunch conservatives like Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan.
McMorris Rodgers an Eastern Washington Republican, was already the highest-ranking GOP member in the House. Plus she led Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign team in the House and according to the Wall Street Journal, Rodgers was also mentioned as a dark horse vice-presidential candidate before Romney’s selection of Ryan.
Now she is conference chairman, the fourth-most-senior position in the House GOP leadership and the person tasked with shaping the Republican message and running party meetings in the House.
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U.S. House Republicans voted today on their leaders for the next two years.
Tapping Rodgers was a politically savvy move. The 43-year-old fourth-term congresswoman has the experience and energy to help paint a more attractive face on a party struggling with gender and age gaps. She has shown she can deliver. As The Weekly Standard points out, she raised more than $1 million for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Rodger’s growing visibility is worth noting but it will take more than a youthful, female face to broaden the GOP’s base. Former governor of Alaska Sarah Palin was once expected to attract women and independents to the party and we’ve all seen how that turned out.