The First GOP Woman in the 2016 Ring?
A trip by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) to early primary state New Hampshire this weekend will be about more than just a speech at a Citizens United and Americans for Prosperity rally.
A Blackburn aide confirmed to RealClearPolitics that she's flirting with the idea of a presidential run:
“If there’s a door to kick down, she’s willing to kick it down,” the aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said. “These are the kinds of events you go to -- test the waters, and see what the reaction is.”
...“There is kind of a void to fill there,” the Blackburn aide said of the likely GOP presidential field. “Whenever there’s been a need for leadership or someone to get out there and fight the fight, she’s always been the first in line and she’s not afraid of it. She’s not afraid to go toe to toe with anybody.”
Both a social and fiscal conservative, the 61-year-old congresswoman has served in the House since 2003 and ran unopposed in 2012. She serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee and was formerly communications chair for the conservative Republican Study Committee caucus.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) was the only woman who ran for the GOP nomination in 2012. She won the Ames Straw poll, but placed sixth in the Iowa caucuses, eventually dropped out and endorsed Mitt Romney.
Bachmann has expressed no interest in a 2016 try.
Other women who could possibly seek the nomination are Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), the highest ranking GOP woman in Congress and chair of the House Republican Conference who gave the official party response to the State of the Union address this years, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), and governors Susana Martinez (N.M.), Nikki Haley (S.C.) or Mary Fallin (Okla.).