For the past few weeks, the media has been littered with stories about the Republican 'war on women.' The popular misconception for decades now has been that Republicans want their women barefoot, pregnant, in the kitchen, and silent. It’s a popular talking point because it helps Democrats reinforce the perception that only as they can help a woman achieve anything in her life.
But, women are slowly but surely becoming the dominant force in the Republican Party. Unlike many of their male counterparts, Republican women have shown themselves to be less likely to give in on principle. Need proof? Here are five women in the GOP that could all easily rise to be one of its next leaders:
1. Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina
At 40 years old, Nikki Haley is currently the youngest serving Governor in the country. A little over a year into her first term, she has paved the way for Boeing to build their plant without union labor and has been one of the most vocal opponents against ObamaCare.
Her 2012 executive budget also included a daring gauntlet for the legislature. Spend the states surplus money or create $140 million in tax relief for South Carolinians. When one takes into account her strong social conservatism, confident public persona, and combined Tea Party and establishment backing, Governor Haley has enough popular support to go as far as she wants in the future.
2. Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico
A former prosecutor, Governor Martinez is the first female Hispanic governor in the country, and the first female governor of New Mexico. Upon being sworn in, she ordered the state jet sold, cut the governor’s residence expenses by over 50%, and slashed her cabinet members salaries by 10%. Her ability to recognize that the first thing that needs trimming is the government itself was a thrill for fiscal conservatives. With the potential to capture conservatives, women, and the Latin vote, Governor Martinez is already being considered as a potential vice presidential candidate in 2012.
For those who believe that tapping Governors Martinez or Haley for such a selection would be a painful repeat of Governor Palin’s 2008 V.P. nomination, consider this: Both live in the lower 48 and have already been exposed to the media and public eye much more than Palin had.
3. Representative Kristi Noem of South Dakota
Freshman Congresswoman Kristi Noem had an impressive run during the last year and a half. After garnering nationwide Tea Party support, Noem became the representative for South Dakota’s at-large congressional district. Prior to being elected to the Congress, she was a member of the South Dakota House of Representatives from 2007 to 2010, the last year of which she was Assistant Majority Leader.
Noem came to the national stage vowing to take down ObamaCare, eliminate the estate tax, reign in the EPA, and she favors capital punishment. Noem is just 40 years old, and was able to raise more money than her Democratic opponent in 2010. Whereas her Democratic opponent's money came mostly from PACs, Noem’s came largely from private citizens.
4. Representative Cathy McMorris Rogers of Washington
The highest-ranking Republican woman in the Congress, Rep. McMorris Rogers is currently the Vice-Chairman of the House Republican Conference. This position also makes her the fourth-highest ranked GOP member in Congress, behind Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor, and Rep. Mike Pence. Her committee assignments have included the Armed Services Committee, Education and Workforce, and Energy and Commerce.
A solid conservative serving in a very liberal state, McMorris Rogers is another one of the names on the short list of potential vice presidential nominees. She has a 100% rating from AMVETS for her votes in Congress, and is a very strong supporter of the U.S. military.
5. Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota
When running for President, you become a target for satirical news shows and late night talk shows. The upside? Your name recognition grows by leaps and bounds. Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, undoubtedly one of the most conservative members currently serving in the Congress, is more well-known than ever, and is not going away anytime soon.
The head of the House Tea Party Caucus, Michele Bachmann has been serving her district since 2007. She penned the first bill to repeal ObamaCare, is an opponent to global warming regulations, and is a strong opponent of private sector bailouts and Cap and Trade legislation. Bachmann currently sits on the House Committee on Intelligence.
Like Rep. Noem, Congresswoman Bachmann is a former liberal turned conservative, giving her a perspective that allows her to relate to many of the so-called ‘Reagan Democrats’ that live across the American heartland. Despite a failed run for the position of House Republican Conference Chair, Bachmann remains a powerful voice in the Congress.
With all the conservative credentials that anyone could ask for, each of these women will be a force to be reckoned with in the Republican Party for years to come. Grassroots supporters appreciate their unapologetic conservatism and fierce determination.
There are many more. Some are curretly in office, like Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee. Some are running for their first term, like Sarasota Springs Major and Utah Congressional candidate Ludmya “Mia” Love. And, of course, there is always former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who is always happy to still be a thorn in the side of the left.
Without women like these, the Republican Party might not have the heartbeat it does today.