Pete Sessions

Meet the GOP's Supermom

Why Cathy McMorris Rodgers is giving the State of the Union response

Why the GOP chose Cathy McMorris Rodgers to give the State of the Union response.

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Washington—It's rare to see a dry run for an election campaign. But over the next month, Australia will provide a testing ground for some of the core themes in this November's American elections. Last weekend, Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who took office in June after the fall of her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, called an election for Aug. 21—they do things fast down there—in which her Labor Party will be using a central argument that Democrats hope to invoke against the Republicans. Gillard's statement opening the campaign left no ambiguity about Labor's message.

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The Tea Party has played an outsized role in the conservative imagination. The reason, I suspect, is that it provides a vehicle for conservatives to indulge their fantasy about representing the true American public. The Tea Party helps conservatives wipe away the memory of the Bush administration and the election of President Obama. The people were somnolent, and now they have awoken, announcing in their righteous fury that they demand conservative policies. If the GOP had failed in 2006 and 2008, it was only in its wishy-washiness.

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