I agree with the state Dems: Rob McKenna does not stand with women. At least not in the sense that most supporters of reproductive rights would understand it.

McKenna says that Roe is the law of the land, enshrined in state statute, and that he would not work to overturn it despite his own personal objections to abortion. But then he also says that he is not seeking to the have the entire Affordable Care Act tossed, while at the same time signing on to brief after brief asking the courts to do exactly that. What McKenna says and what he does are not always the same thing.

But even if we could take McKenna at his word on abortion, that still would not make him "pro-choice." Unless if by pro-choice you mean giving pharmacists the choice to refuse to stock Plan B, or insurance companies the choice to refuse to cover abortions, or employers the choice to deny birth control coverage in their insurance plans. Standing with women means standing with them on all these issues, not just pragmatically acknowledging that his own personal beliefs are on the losing side of the abortion issue here in Washington state.

And I emphasize that last point because McKenna isn't just running for governor; he's running for president in 2016 or beyond. And like Mitt Romney before him, he knows that he doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of winning the Republican nomination or a spot on the VP shortlist if he can be portrayed on the national stage as (gasp) pro-choice. That's why, should he be elected governor, expect McKenna to stand with opponents of reproductive rights whenever he can, so as to burnish his reputation as a defender of his real position on abortion, rather than the one he's forced to adopt to win elections here in the liberal/libertarian Pacific Northwest.

At the 2008 Republican National Convention, McKenna told the Washington delegation that President George W. Bush's nominations of ultra-conservative Justices Samuel Alito and John Roberts were "absolutely right."

“He made two outstanding picks,” McKenna said of Bush, “and it makes an enormous difference.”

That's the real Rob McKenna, the one who would appoint the fifth Roe-reversing vote to the Supreme Court if he had the chance. And that doesn't sound like the kind of politician who stands with women.