Five Women Who Will Change the Face of the GOP in 2013

The new year will be an important one for Republicans to build support among women and minorities.

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Haley just made headlines for appointing Rep. Tim Scott to replace retiring Sen. Jim DeMint. Scott will be the first black Republican senator from the South since Reconstruction, and will be the only African-American in the Senate. Haley gets it that the Republican Party can't be led just by gray-haired white guys.

[See a collection of political cartoons on Congress.]

Susana Martinez was elected governor of New Mexico in 2010, making her the first Latina governor in U.S. history. She was the longtime District Attorney in southern New Mexico, is married to a 30-year law-enforcement officer, and is the stepmother of a Navy veteran. Martinez burst on to the national scene with a great convention address this summer, telling the story of her immigrant parents starting a security business with $400, where she worked guarding the parking lots at bingo games with a .357 Magnum.

Recently, Martinez said Republicans need to fundamentally change their strategy for Latino outreach. Count on Martinez to be at the center of the looming immigration reform debate. If Republicans in Washington are smart, they'll listen to her.

[See 2012: The Year in Cartoons]

Condoleezza Rice left many wondering after her show-stopping convention address why she wasn't the GOP presidential nominee. Former Secretary of State, former provost of Stanford University, an accomplished pianist, and survivor of the civil rights struggles as a child in Birmingham, Ala.—she's got it all. To boot, the Washington Post recently named her "the new face of venture capital," as she helps investors navigate emerging markets worldwide. Although she claims not to be interested, it's not crazy to think she'd be a tough opponent for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Republicans have lost the black vote, the Hispanic vote, and the women's vote. If the party wants to build a winning majority going forward, it's time to change. These five trailblazers are going to be a big part of that change.

  • Read Mort Zuckerman: Brace For an Avalanche of Unfunded Debt
  • Peter Roff: On Fiscal Cliff and Beyond, GOP Must Do Become Party of Ideas
  • Read Peter Fenn: Blame Republicans for the Fiscal Cliff and Washington Gridlock