Now that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his bid to return to Congress, the door is open for Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R - Washington) to make a play for John Boehner's Speaker seat, which insiders say Boehner will not run again for.
While Republican Congressmen Kevin McCarthy (R - California) gets comfy in his newly acquired House Majority Leader position, after having duked it out with Steve Scalise (R - Louisiana), Rodgers should proactively be building support to lead the party. It is imperative that she throw her name in the ring within the next few weeks if she would like to become the first female Republican Speaker of the House.
It wasn't perchance that Republican leaders selected Rodgers to deliver this past year's State of the Union rebuttal. A relevant leader in the House, her "folksiness" came off personable and warm, which has helped her to reach across the aisle for bipartisan support for legislation.
Rodger's speech gave her a moment to introduce herself as a compassionate conservative while arguing against the President's plans for a better America. It was a part of the GOP that the American people hadn't seen since the Ronald Reagan years because of partisan gridlock and polarization.
As both the 4th highest ranking Republican and highest ranking female in the House, Rodgers is the only choice who will make a difference in a long list of potential successors, which include countless male establishment picks.
It not only provides Republicans with a new narrative, the fact that a strong female voice in now airing the concerns of conservatives, but also a figure who acts as a political counterweight to the likes of female Democrats. Rodgers would garner national press and attention if selected as Speaker.
Elevating a qualified woman to a prime position in the GOP will surely play an important role during this election season with Democrats poised to nominate Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Some critics have argued that Rodgers's greatest weakness is that she is not a political powerhouse, but others may see it as a strength, as well as a departure from the idea that all politicians are power-seekers and closed door dealers.
The opportunity to become Speaker would give Rodgers the platform to lay out a clear and concise agenda, one that would give preference to women's rights as well as their treatment in the workplace. Expect her to also voice her support for veterans whom she has made a personal appeal for after founding the Military Family Caucus in 2009.
Rodgers already has a preference for bills pertaining to women and providing them with easier access to healthcare, something she fought for as the Republican co-chairwoman of the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues alongside Representative Lois Capps (D - California), despite her criticism of the Affordable Care Act years later.