McMorris Rodgers, a fifth-term congresswoman, currently chairs the House Republican Conference, the fourth-ranking position in leadership. She's also the mother of three children -- one born just two months ago -- and will become the first Republican woman since former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman in 1995 to deliver a State of the Union response speech by herself.
Putting McMorris Rodgers into this prominent role is a signal that party leaders understand the need to grow their appeal among women voters in the coming midterm elections.
A video, above, that accompanied the announcement from Republican leaders Thursday focuses on McMorris Rodgers' role as a mother and the influence her son Cole, who has Down syndrome, has had on her work as an elected leader.
The task of delivering the response to the State of the Union has proven to be challenging one, more likely to trip up an ambitious politician than to reward one. Florida Sen.
Other speakers for the GOP during Obama’s presidency have included Gov.