McMorris Rodgers, Tom Price vie to become Republican conference chair

Supporters of McMorris Rodgers cite her successful tenure as vice chair of the conference.

“The critical piece from my perspective,” said Scott, “is if the person is second in charge has performed her charge very well, why would you not put her at the top of the food chain, or put her at the helm of the ship?”

“I think she’s done a fantastic job on our social media,” Scott added. “She understands the need for a stronger footprint in the social media forum.”

“One of the lessons that we see taking away from the last four years of elections is the growing need for us to capture the audience where they want to be captured,” he went on.

The fact that McMorris Rodgers is a woman does not hurt, and though Malkin may decry it as “identity politics,” some see having a woman in leadership as a boon for the Republican Party in the wake of an election that suggested that demographic was not too fond of them.

It’s an asset McMorris Rodgers has been emphasizing.

An entire section of a video sent by McMorris Rodgers to the congressional class of 2010 and the incoming freshman class last week was devoted to her fight against the Democrats’ assertion that Republicans are inciting a “war on women.”

It’s also an angle, Buzzfeed reported, that she has emphasized in last-minute talks with conference members.

Price’s office declined to comment on the record, because the congressman “believes this decision should be made through discussion and consultation with his colleagues, not through the press.”

The way the two sides have shaken out has some suggesting that tomorrow’s ballot will be a test of Boehner’s ability to influence his caucus, and a precursor to battles down the road between leadership and some of the rank-and-file members — a storyline that has lingered since last year’s debt-ceiling fight.

This time around, however, Republicans are pushing back at the notion of intra-party disagreement.

“I think that’s an overstatement,” said Rep. Tim Scott, a vocal supporter of McMorris Rodgers. The only test of Boehner’s leadership, he said, is when “we vote for or against the speaker.”

One Republican aide called the assertion that the vote will be a test of Boehner “just plain dumb.”

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