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The Strategist

California freshman Kevin McCarthy has only one goal: to retake the House.

Oct 1, 2007, Vol. 13, No. 03 • By SAMANTHA SAULT
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McCarthy is an advocate of applying new technology to government to increase efficiency and get the public more involved. "Technology has changed every part of our lives, really, except government," he notes. Innovations like podcasts and Facebook, a social-networking website popular with 20-somethings, could be used to "spur ideas." The NRCC ad campaign includes an interactive website with a blog and YouTube links to the television ads.

California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger calls McCarthy "the future in Washington," and most of his Republican colleagues seem to agree. He's already considered a possible successor to NRCC chairman Tom Cole, who will step down in 2010. The Sacramento Bee and Roll Call have called him a "rising star." When asked his thoughts on being called such, he quipped, "Did you talk to my mom?"

McCarthy maintains that he isn't seeking a leadership position--but he hasn't ruled one out, either. "I'm trying to lay the groundwork where I can get the best information and be one of the best members here," he says. "Where that plays out, I don't know."

Samantha Sault is an editorial assistant at THE WEEKLY STANDARD.