Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) speaks as House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other GOP lawmakers look on. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), vice chairman of the House GOP conference, will serve as the Romney’s top liaison to House Republicans. The position should afford her closer access to the presumed GOP presidential nominee and his campaign team as they work to coordinate messaging ahead of the November election.

McMorris Rodgers is perhaps best known to most casual observers of American politics as the woman most often photographed standing behind House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) during news conferences. In recent months, she’s also served as a GOP counterpunch to Democratic allegations that the Republican Party is opposed to advancing women’s rights.

McMorris Rodgers “understands the impact of the economic challenges Americans face and the need to put our country on a better track,” Romney said in a statement announcing her appointment. “As a member of the leadership team in the House, she will be a helpful partner in our efforts to ensure our focus remains on the critical issue of economic security for all Americans.”

For her part, McMorris Rodgers said in the same statement that she’s “honored to serve as the leader of Mitt Romney’s House team” and that Romney “has demonstrated the leadership and vision that we have been fighting for in Congress to stop runaway government spending and create an environment for job creation.”

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Adding McMorris Rodgers to the Romney team may improve her chances of serving as his running mate — or at least improve her chances on the speculation circuit. Though most rankings don’t place her near the top, the four-term lawmaker from Washington state is one of just a handful of women named as potential candidates.

McMorris Rodgers will work alongside Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who has served as a top Capitol Hill lieutenant for Romney since endorsing the former Massachusetts governor last fall.

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