William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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CATHY – AT 10:30 A.M. ET:  The Republican Party's Thanksgiving Day message was delivered this year by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state, who was recently elected chair of the House Republican Conference.  She becomes the highest-ranking woman in the Republican leadership.

We got some heat from readers when we recommended that McMorris Rodgers be elected, as an expression of inclusion.  Readers reminded us of our usual stance that only qualifications be considered for leadership.  But in this case I felt an exception had to be made.  The party must show that it is willing to include those from a variety of backgrounds in its higher positions.  And, of course, Cathy had all the qualifications one would need.

From her address today:

The Washington lawmaker said that in the holiday’s “spirit of service and optimism” Republicans were reaching out to President Obama “in the hope of working together to help our economy grow and solve the debt that threatens our children’s future.”

She expressed hope that lawmakers and the White House could craft a deal to avoid the looming “fiscal cliff.”

“Republicans believe this is an opportunity to finally solve problems that Washington has ignored for too long, whether it’s a tax code that’s too costly and complicated or entitlement programs that are on the path to bankruptcy,” said McMorris Rodgers. “No more short-term band-aids or shopworn excuses. We can do this right.

“Republicans are ready and eager to get to work, and we hope President Obama is as well,” she added.

COMMENT:  She recently said that the Republican Party doesn't have to change its principles.  It simply has to be more modern, and in that she is right.  As a new face for the party, I think she will do well, and was a good choice.  She will also have to be on anyone's short list for vice president in 2016. 

I have to be impressed with the new group of young Republican leaders who are stepping forward.  The Republican bench is very deep, the Democratic bench has a couple of players who need a rest.  We have reason to be optimistic, if we maximize our human advantages.

November 22, 2012