White House 2012’s Series “The Herd”: Will Cathy McMorris Rodgers Be Romney’s Surprise Pick for Vice President?

Bookmark and Share  The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious names that Mitt Romney may consider for Vice President.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one of the many Republicans which we believe that will  at least be considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Romney, White House 2012′s coverage also includes each potential nominee’s voting records, as well as a listing of their public statements and links to their web sites.

Today White House 2012 offers a look at Washington state Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

Born: Cathy McMorris (1969-05-22) May 22, 1969 (age 43) Salem, Oregon

Political Party: Republican

Spouse(s): Brian Rodgers

Children: Cole McMorris Rodgers (April 2007) Grace (December 2010)

Residence: Spokane, Washington

Alma Mater: Pensacola Chrsitian College, AB 1990, University of Washington, MBA 2002

Occupation: Orchadist

Religion: Christian

Professional Experience

  • Former Employee, Peachcrest Fruit Basket
  • Former Legislative Assistant

Political Experience

  • United States House of Representatives, 2004-present
  • Representative, Washington State House of Representatives, 1994-2004
  • Republican Whip Team
  • United States House of Representatives Former Minority Leader

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Cathy McMorris Rodgers is largely unknown outside of her district in eastern Washington state, but among conservative activists, she is a familiar name and appreciated for her conservative leadership.

With a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 93.80 percent, McMorris Rodgers has a record that could only shore up Mitt Romney among conservatives who remain insecure about his committment to the conservative cause and at the same time, Cathy McMorris Rodgers lacks the type of knee jerk reaction from the left that would automatically lead them to make her the poster child for their hatred.

Now in her 4th term in Congress, McMorris Rodgers is seen as one of Eastern Washington’s chief advocates in the House of Representatives and within the G.O.P. she is considered a rising star. Since first being elected to the House in 2004, she has earned the trust of both her constituents and her Capitol Hill colleagues. So much so that her fellow Congress members have twice elected her Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference where she is the only woman and the youngest Member of the elected House Republican Leadership. That position also makes her the highest-ranking Republican woman on Capitol Hill.

Such power has afforded McMorris Rodgers the opportunity to accumulate some substantial clout in Washington D.C., and she has used that clout to become one of her Party’s most influential leaders on issues like international bailouts, earmark reform, and the fight against Obamacare, three issues that will happen to play a pivotal role in the 2012 elections, including and most especially the presidential election.

So it is for those reasons alone, that Cathy McMorris Rodgers becomes an obvious addition to Mitt Romney’s short list of possible vice presidential running mates. But to make her even more attractive as a potential vice presidential nominee are a mix of her gender, compelling personal life story, and her history of reaching across the aisle to lead bipartisan efforts that introduced such things as beneficial health information technology legislation.

McMorris Rodgers’ non-political experience is another important consideration .

She grew up on a family farm, worked at a small business, and later became a wife and mom. To one degree or another, each of these aspects of her life can resonate quite well among several critical segments of the electorate, including those of the Midwest farming communities, women, and those who can appreciate having political leaders that are familiar with the plight of small businesses in America, something that compliments and compensates for Mitt Romney’s experience with the more corporate side of business in America.

All things considered, Cathy McMorris Rodgers is an ideal running mate for Mitt Romney.

She is well spoken, strong in character, firm in conviction, confident in her beliefs, and unmistakably compassionate. And while she lacks the lightning rod characteristics of a Sarah Palin which could allow the Obama campaign to make her a useful distraction from the issues , being a woman, her presence on the ticket would add a valuable degree of historic intrigue that it would lack if a Rob Portman or Tim Palwenty were to be selected by Romney to be his Vice President. Yet at the same time Cathy McMorris Rodgers would not overshadow Romney and still bring to the ticket the type of legislative experience and stature that people expect from a Vice President. Of course the left will draw parallels between Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Sarah Palin. But they will do so at great risk.

Like Palin, one of McMorris Rodgers’ two children was born with Down syndrome. Like Palin, McMorris Rodgers is a mom, a wife, a conservative and a person of deep religious faith. And if the left wants to use any of these similarities in an attempt to palinize McMorris Rodgers, they better be willing to deal with a backlash from mothers and wives all across the nation because this time their attacks will be seen as nothing but personal and inappropriate.

Pros:

  • Can help bridge the existing gap in popularity that exists between Romney and Obama among women and would make the liberal charge of a Republican war against women far more unbelievable than it already is
  • With a a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 93.80 percent, McMorris Rodgers will be a choice that satisfies the conservative base that Romney needs to have show up to the polls in record numbers on November 6th
  • Has history of bipartisanship that can appeal to independent voters
  • McMorris Rodgers has a record that is quite appropriate for this election regarding her positions on fiscal policies, Obamacare, and government reform
  • Is experienced in areas of trade, another important issue
  • Her relatively low profile makes her less a lightning rod for liberal attacks and her addition to the ticket would not invite a litany of distractions during the campaign

Cons:

  • Has not yet been intensely scrutinized by a merciless media and national liberal lynch mob
  • Is relatively unknown outside of Washington state
  • Does not bring to the ticket any vast popularity that can dramatically change the electoral college vote within a needed state or region

Assessment:

Cathy McMorris Rodgers is not what you can call the perfect running mate for Mitt Romney. The perfect running mate for him is someone who won’t overshadow him, can win over a majority of women, and/or Hispanics and independents, lacks any of the baggage that liberals can use to create a distraction from the real issues with but has positive national name ID and could insure that Republicans win Ohio and or Florida.

The problem is that no one is perfect. If there was such a person, they would have been nominated for president by Republicans instead of Mitt Romney. But when it comes to Cathy McMorris Rodgers insofar as picking a running mate for Romney, she comes pretty close to perfect.

McMorris Rodgers is perfectly positioned on the issues important in this election, can help Romney among women, will appeal to independent voters, and in this largely out with the old, in with the new, anti-establishment electorate, McMorris Rodgers is a fresh face that helps generate a sense of fresh start in Washington, D.C.

And although she may not be the favorite son or daughter of a state that deliver a state like Ohio or Florida to the Republican’s electoral vote count, her appeal to a wide segment women and independent voters in those could be all Romney needs to win those states and others as well.

All of this makes McMorris Rodgers a bold but safe choice for Mitt Romney and “safe” is one of the things Mitt Romney likes the most. Which is why if Romney does surprise us by picking a running mate whose name has not already been widely discussed, it will be with the name Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

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Recent Key Votes

HR 3541 – Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) of 2012 Legislation (Yea) May 31, 2012

H Amdt 1160 – Project Labor Agreements Amendment (Nay), May 31, 2012

HR 4310 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 Legislation (Yea) May 18, 2012

More Key Votes

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Bill Sponsorship & Cosponsorship

Some of McMorris Rodgers’s most recently sponsored bills include…

View All » (including bills from previous years)

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McMorris Rodgers on the Issues

Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform Civil Rights
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Health Care Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Technology Corporations Welfare & Poverty
Energy & Oil Environment Jobs Principles & Values

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