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Cathy McMorris Rodgers

January 28th, 2014 at Tue, 28th, 2014 at 11:13 am by stevewehrly

12. Cathy McMorris Rogers, the Positive Politics pick for Vice President (as recounted in my first blog post last June), takes her first big step down the campaign road tonight when she delivers the official Republican response to Obama’s State of the Union speech. It’s one small step for a woman and one big step for a candidate.

I’ll bet one thing Hilary doesn’t want to do is campaign for President against a woman – especially against a woman vice-presidential candidate.

CMR will almost certainly recount the litany of her party’s problems with the current administration, but what political watchers want to see is whether she will move toward the positive side of politics by saying what she and her party are for. Some Republicans (and I think CMR) realize that negative politics don’t work, and (like George W. in 2008) Obama won’t be on the ballot in 2016. (If you think Obama won because of Bush, I would counter with two words: Sarah Palin. Had McCain chosen Tom Ridge or anyone of similar stature, he would be President right now.)

Listen for the phrase “The American Dream,” which she has already adopted as her theme for her re-election in her Spokane-based congressional district. It would be a great catchphrase for a national campaign.

Two other themes in the speech are also worth watching for: immigration and women’s issues. If Cathy wants to be a national political figure, she can’t shy away from these two issues. And if the Republican Party refuses to deal with these issues, she and her colleagues can forget winning the Presidency in 2016.

It’s highly unlikely (but not impossible) that McMorris Rodgers will catch fire and become a viable Presidential candidate, but her gender and her acceptability to the tea party elements of her party make her a very possible Vice-Presidential candidate.

If McMorris really wants to change the direction of Republicans, she should say something positive about contraception. A “yes” to contraception would be a game-changing theme. A few favorable words about contraception takes away some of the negative implications of the “war on women” issue.

Then, at some future date, she can appeal to moderates by engaging in a dialogue with gays and lesbians.

But that can wait until after her re-election this year to Congress.

13. Breaking news: Mike Pryce of Lopez Island has announced his candidacy for Congress. He’s a retired Lt. Colonel in the Marine Corps reserves. Now all he has to do to make his candidacy against Rick Larsen viable is convince his former boss, ex-SecDef Bob Gates, to be his campaign chairman. And raise a million dollars.

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