As former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney continues to push forward toward a possible win of the Republican presidential nomination – riding on concurrent double-digit victories in this week’s Florida primary and Nevada caucuses—all politicians not named Romney are preparing for “the question.”
The query from the political beat reporters has many variations, but goes something like this: “If asked, would you accept an invitation to be the vice presidential nominee on the Republican ticket?”
Last week, the question was put to Republican House Conference Vice Chair and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R, WA-5), the highest ranking Republican woman holding federal office who some are now suggesting has an outside chance of making it onto a longer list of potentials for the VP slot.
Will Rahn of The Daily Caller asked McMorris Rodgers about her feelings on a VP possibility during a blogger call last week. The four-term congresswoman responded that she had not given much thought to the question, had not yet spoken to any of the candidates, but ultimately left the door open in the case that the presidential candidate were to signal interest. From The Daily Caller:
For now, though, McMorris Rodgers is staying coy about her vice presidential prospects.
“It’s hard for me to imagine the nominee would actually approach me, you know?” she told TheDC when asked whether she’d consider taking the job. “I think I’ll just leave it at that, and we’ll see where it goes.”
If the Republican Party is looking for a historic gesture to under-served communities—women and blue state voters—offering McMorris Rodgers a spot below the president on the ticket could kill two birds with one stone.
Since the Evergreen State was granted statehood in 1889–a span of 123 years this November–the U.S. has held 40 presidential elections, 21 president and 25 vice presidents have held office, but the major parties have not recruited a presidential or vice presidential candidate from Washington State, despite its economic and geographic standing as an anchor of the Pacific Northwest states.
In recent elections, even the states of Wyoming and Delaware (3 electoral votes each) have had their turns, for political advantages not related to electoral math. Why not Washington with its 12 electoral votes and recent trends indicating the voter biases for Democratic candidates has begun to reverse?
With McMorris Rodgers storming the campaign trail, Republicans might hope to pull the Washington further into play, but it may also be one avenue for Republicans to make a second run at the ones that got away in 2008—female voters.
McMorris Rodgers displays all of Palin’s spirit on critical issues relating to budget, defense, and the economy without the bombastic character—a conservative reformer with a finely-honed ability to bridge political divides by listening and taking the pulse of the voters.
McMorris Rodgers also brings an impressive portfolio of achievements to bear. Her outreach work and personal affiliation with working women and military families has attracted widespread attention and praise. She has been a consistent voice for fiscal sanity, and is one of the leading proponents in the House for the passage of a balance budget amendment, and was the first member of Congress to warn about the fallout from using U.S. taxpayer-backed funds in any bailout of the European economic crisis.
[photo credit: republicanconference]