Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the Republican who represents the eastern third of

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the Republican who represents the eastern third of the state and easily won reelection to a third term, got a special mention in this week’s Newsweek from none other than Karl Rove. In his 10-part prescription for the GOP’s “Way out of the Wilderness,” Rove names McMorris Rodgers as one of the Republican’s most persuasive and compelling House members. McMorris Rodgers announced earlier this month that she’s seeking a House leadership post: vice chair of the Republican Conference. It’s an influential role that approves committee assignments, and helps manage floor debates and communications strategy for the party. McMorris Rodgers should find out her fate soon. The House Republicans are scheduled to vote on leadership positions today.Also, in the WA players-to-watch category, Sen. Patty Murray– who long ago traded her tennis shoes for power pumps– has been reelected Democratic conference secretary, the fourth most powerful post in Senate leadership. Murray had also hoped to become chair of the Veteran’s Affairs Committee, but was thwarted when Democrats chose not to oust Sen. Joe Lieberman from his chairmanship in Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, a move that would’ve started a chain of musical chairs that could’ve ended with Murray moving up. Not to worry though: Murray may play it cool back home, but she continues to grow in power and clout among her Senate colleagues. Her leadership star has nowhere to go but up.

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