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Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, Meg McCain and Liz Cheney: Fresh Faces for the GOP

This deficit in high office is both a taint on the GOP and a reflection of the broader assumption that Republicans are monolithically against women's rights. Specifically, the party's pro-life platform alienates pro-choice women, as well as moderates, who otherwise might find common cause with conservative principles.

Women such as pro-choice Whitman and "personally" pro-life Fiorina could help change that impression, while also raising other issues women care about. Fiorina caused a slight ripple in the Republican zeitgeist during McCain's campaign when she criticized insurance companies for covering Viagra and not birth control.

Meanwhile, another Meg (McCain) and Liz Cheney, daughter of the former vice president, have emerged as strong voices in a party with too few sopranos.

It isn't quite fair to group McCain with Cheney, given their respective résumés -- one a 24-year-old celebrity blogger whose fame is (thus far) inherited and the other, Cheney, 43, a former deputy assistant secretary of state. But both are relatively fresh voices with instant name recognition. And each appeals to a different, perhaps untapped, demographic.

Cheney, recently dubbed a "red-state rock star," just launched a new Web site, http://KeepAmericaSafe.com, where she and others plan to critique foreign policy issues. And the socially liberal McCain, though she may not please the party elders, appeals to younger voters who otherwise wouldn't consider lifting the flap on the old man's tent.

Four women: a pro-life hawk; a pro-choice, pro-gay rights libertarian; two entrepreneurs, one pro-choice and one pro-life. This doesn't sound like your daddy's Republican Party, but it could be your daughter's -- if the men wise up.

kathleenparker@washpost.com


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