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Spin Control

Two speaker prospects from Inland NW?

Roll Call thinks so, anyway.

In one of its "what if" pieces- - - as in What if John Boehner was no longer speaker, who would get the job? --  the Washington, D.C., newspaper for Congress and those who watch it closely lists Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Raul Labrador as two of its 10 possible replacements.

They'd have to be called long-shots, considering that the majority leader usually ascends to the speakership unless one party loses control of the House. So Eric Cantor is at the top of the list. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

And in truth, that's where most speculating would stop unless Cantor were to leave Congress or decide he didn't want the job.

Also pointing to their long odds, McMorris Rodgers is No 9 on the list, even though she's about No 4 in terms of the House GOP hierarchy. According to Roll Call:

   Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the Republican Conference chairwoman, has helped revive the party’s “big tent,” using her perch to promote the GOP as tech-savvy, culturally in touch and open to everyone — especially burgeoning voting bases like Latinos. And having a female speaker would be a powerful message for a party that has struggled to appeal to women.
   But many privately question whether McMorris Rodgers would be interested in holding a higher office on Capitol Hill. Others say that while she might have stumbled onto the leadership team, as far as she’s concerned, she’s there to stay, and maybe do more someday, too.

 But she is the only woman on the list, unless you count the mention of Ann Wagner of Missouri, a freshman who is in leadership and seems to be listed as kind of an afterthought about rising stars among the freshman class. (A freshman hasn't been named speaker since 1860, and he didn't get Congress, not just to the speakership. But whatever.)

Labrador is No. 10, which is pretty good considering he's only in his second term. Roll Call opines:

Club for Growth President Chris Chocola recently said that if his group does its job, it will get enough of its endorsed candidates into Congress that “they’ll elect one of their own for leadership.” If that ever happens, they could end up electing Raúl R. Labrador.
  The Idaho Republican is part of the 2010 tea party wave that came to Washington to cut spending and shrink government, and to do so by whatever means necessary, earning the group the nickname the “Hell No Caucus.”
  Peers see Labrador as a leader who’s unflappable, smart and well-spoken.

Even though they're at the bottom, no other region has two representatives on the list.

Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

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