Republican Ex-centrist Stefanik Rises On Embrace Of Trump
Sumaira FH 1 month ago Sun 09th May 2021 | 08:50 AM
Washington, May 9 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 9th May, 2021 ) :US politician Elise Stefanik began her Washington career as a moderate, but has changed tack and surged in influence to likely become the most powerful Republican woman in Congress -- a trajectory she owes entirely to her staunch defense of Donald Trump.
Stefanik, just 36 and in Congress for six years, is aiming to oust principled conservative Liz Cheney as House Republican conference chair, a dramatic change of course that concedes the extraordinary shift that is shaping the party's future around the defeated president.
Political scion Cheney, daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney, is on the verge of being punished for refusing to buy into what she calls Trump's "BIG LIE" that election fraud caused his 2020 defeat to Joe Biden.
The Wyoming conservative's adherence to election truth appears to be apostasy in Trump's remade Republican Party, and its members are expected to vote her out of her number three leadership post as early as Wednesday during a scheduled meeting.
Trump himself has endorsed her for the post, as has number two House Republican Steve Scalise, making her the clear frontrunner.
"My vision is to run with support from the president and his coalition of voters," Stefanik told Steve Bannon, a former Trump White House aide, on his Thursday radio show when asked about her plans for helping the GOP win in 2022.
"We are going to run as an alternative to the Biden agenda," she added.
"I'm committed to being a voice and sending a clear message that we are one team, and that means working with the (former) president and working with all of our excellent Republican members of Congress." Stefanik's rise is emblematic of how advancing in the party no longer requires adherence to fiscal conservative values or muscular foreign policy, but fealty to a controversial former president who still drives the direction of the Republican Party.
She earned plaudits for her centrist positions and efforts at bipartisanship.
She even told Cheney she was "very proud" to have nominated her for conference chair.
But Stefanik also began recognizing that her own district's voters were becoming increasingly enamored with Trump, and she made a shrewd political calculation to join them.
Trump took notice and trained a spotlight on Stefanik, hailing her as "a new Republican star." Even though she drew a determined Democratic effort to unseat her, Stefanik handily won re-election in November 2020.
Weeks later her fidelity was complete, as she announced in January that she would oppose the Electoral College certification in some swing states that voted for Biden.
While Stefanik may satisfy a pro-Trump litmus test, conservative organizations have raised concerns about her voting record.
Stefanik "is a liberal" with just a 35 percent lifetime rating, "4th worst in the House GOP," the Club For Growth tweeted as it opposed her for conference chair.
"House Republicans should find a conservative to lead messaging and win back the House majority." Cheney is far more likely than Stefanik to adhere to traditional Republican positions. According to an index by nonpartisan public policy think tank the Lugar Center, Stefanik was ranked as the 13th most bipartisan member of Congress from 2019 to 2020.
Cheney ranked 421st on the index out of the House's 435 members.
In a bid to boost her conservative credentials, Stefanik recently launched a media blitz, lashing China for its role in the coronavirus pandemic, echoing Trump's "America First" platform and attacking Biden and his fellow "socialist" Democrats.