The Republican frontrunner for VP: Kelly Ayotte?

posted at 6:01 pm on February 27, 2014 by Allahpundit

Josh Rogin makes the case. And yeah, I realize it’s goofy to be thinking about this now, but it’s less goofy than it was in other recent election cycles for two reasons. One: Identity politics may dictate the VP slot in 2016 in a way that it hasn’t in other recent election cycles. I argued recently that Cory Booker’s the frontrunner for veep across the aisle despite his lack of federal experience, simply because Democrats fear that Hillary won’t be able to preserve Obama’s coalition on her own. They need to keep turnout among black voters as high for her as it was for the first black president. Booker, the would-be first black vice president, could help. On the flip side, between the incessant “war on women” attacks and the likelihood of Hillary being nominated, Republicans will be desperate to counter with a woman on the ticket themselves. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, who delivered the SOTU rebuttal, is probably too low profile. Susana Martinez, who might also help with Latino voters, will be on the shortlist but maybe she’s too exposed on ObamaCare to satisfy the base. Obvious solution: Ayotte.

But is Ayotte too hawkish? That’s the other reason it’s worth thinking about this now.

“Her prospects are good. Why not Pence-Ayotte or Walker-Ayotte?” said Weekly Standard Editor and conservative power-broker Bill Kristol. “Defense and foreign policy will be a big issue, and she’s a leader on that. And since she’s already on the vice presidential short list, she might want to look at running for the top job.”…

Ayotte’s conservative credentials were challenged late last year during the debate over the government shutdown, when she ultimately cast a key procedural vote that could have stopped the closure before it began. That lead to a confrontation between her and Cruz behind closed doors. Ayotte demanded that Cruz disavow attacks on her by the Senate Conservatives Fund a group tied to Cruz and founded by former Sen. Jim DeMint.

Palin, who once called Ayotte the “Granite Grizzly” also has turned against her. Last summer, Palin publicly called for a primary challenger for Ayotte after Ayotte supported the immigration reform legislation that was working its way through the senate…

“Her positioning as the female amigo in the McCain-Graham foreign policy triumvirate is a weakness in the GOP primary because that’s not where the Republican party grassroots are any more on this issue,” one senior GOP strategist said.

I don’t think her vote for the Gang of Eight bill will disqualify her. Rubio had a much bigger role in it and he’s still in the presidential mix, and Rand Paul, who voted against it, nonetheless has called repeatedly for immigration reform. Scott Walker and Chris Christie are both pro-reform too. Ayotte can hide in the crowd on that issue. Plus, she earned some goodwill from righties in voting no on the Toomey/Manchin background checks bill, for which she took all sorts of heat from big-name gun-grabbers like Mike Bloomberg. Our last VP nominee voted for TARP and was forgiven. Ayotte can be forgiven for voting for amnesty, especially if reform ends up going nowhere in the House. (Which, admittedly, is unlikely.)

What makes this an interesting topic is the defense angle. Obvious question: With grassroots conservatives less hawkish than they used to be, although maybe not quite as “non-interventionist” as Rand Paul, what kind of ticket does the GOP need to field in 2016 with respect to foreign policy? Can they get away with putting Ayotte, the “third amigo” in the McCain/Graham superhawk alliance, in the number two slot? I’m tempted to say that they’ll have to balance the ticket with a hawk in one slot and a less hawkish nominee in the other, but I can’t think of any nationally prominent GOPer who qualifies for the latter role except Rand Paul. Which means, if Ayotte really is the VP frontrunner, either a Paul/Ayotte ticket is in the offing or else the conservative base is going to have to tolerate two hawkish candidates on the ballot. Watching Rand lose would be hard for his admirers under any circumstances, but asking them to then turn around and pull the lever for a pair of interventionists would be much harder. What exactly is the tolerance threshold on the right for an all-hawk ticket this time around?

But maybe I’m underestimating Ayotte. While Maverick and Graham were beating the war drums over Syria last year, she issued a statement opposing military action. She came out strong in support of the NSA last summer after the first Snowden leaks were published but later sided with Democrat Jeanne Shaheen in calling for a comprehensive review of the agency. Maybe she’s in the process of shifting her brand from superhawk to hawkish-leaner — just in time for the veepstakes! — and we just haven’t noticed yet.


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Over

Bmore on February 27, 2014 at 8:12 PM

Allow me to add to the chorus of HELL NO.

In fact absolutely no female candidate that hasn’t bothered to take her husband’s surname. Might be an arbitrary thing that caters to my pet peeve but look at the crowd it fits: Ayotte, Murky, Collins, Susamnesty Martinez… Pretty good disqualifier.

Well bw, she is an attractive woman. Not my type but attractive nonetheless.

ojfltx on February 27, 2014 at 7:47 PM

She has weird eyebrows and a wide jaw, though YMMV. Then again I think looking for attractive politicians makes as much sense as seeking sound political advice from supermodels. I’ll gladly be indifferent to what a Senator looks like, just somebody get Chrissy Teigen to STFU.

Gingotts on February 27, 2014 at 8:16 PM

Kelly Ayotte campaigned saying she was against amnesty, then started pushing illegal alien amnesty once in office.

Kelly Ayotte is a total fraud and should never be considered for any Republican presidential ticket.

She also has an unbelievably shaky and unimpressive speaking voice. She always seems timid and unsure in interviews and when giving speeches.

bluegill on February 27, 2014 at 8:17 PM

What? Are you idiots crazy?
An AMNESTY proponent?
I will NEVER-EVER vote for anyone who did not 100% vote and campaign against this treasonous act.
TX-96 on February 27, 2014 at 6:06 PM

WELL SAID!

bluegill on February 27, 2014 at 8:18 PM

n the flip side, between the incessant “war on women” attacks and the likelihood of Hillary being nominated, Republicans will be desperate to counter with a woman on the ticket themselves.

“Granite Grizzly”

…get the real Grizzly!…..problem solved!

KOOLAID2 on February 27, 2014 at 8:20 PM

We understand the rationale lineholder but it seems to be the only way to take the war on women off the table. Particularly with the media.

ojfltx on February 27, 2014 at 7:46 PM

If you let Dems set the narrative, that’s probably true. I would suggest that considering some issues that play a big role in the lives of women, such as quality of education, could gain more headway against the “war on women” that a lot of people think.

lineholder on February 27, 2014 at 8:21 PM

I wish the GOP could come up with an ALL FEMALE ticket.

And an ALL FEMALE Congress for that matter.

jake-the-goose

Yeah, women like Ayotte, Murkowski, Collins and Snow would truly have us on the right path, lol.

You’re partly right though….men who come up with stupid ish like this have done plenty of damage.

We understand the rationale lineholder but it seems to be the only way to take the war on women off the table. Particularly with the media.

ojfltx

Ahh yes, the old “we have to surrender or the dems will beat us” strategy, lol. Sounds like a winner. Maybe we should just embrace liberalism completely then and get it off the table. Imagine the possibilities.

xblade on February 27, 2014 at 8:23 PM

n the flip side, between the incessant “war on women” attacks and the likelihood of Hillary being nominated, Republicans will be desperate to counter with a woman on the ticket themselves.

How about Mary Fallin?

I don’t know too much about her.

bluegill on February 27, 2014 at 8:24 PM

And what about Nikki Haley?

bluegill on February 27, 2014 at 8:26 PM

AP quoting the Daily Beast? David Frum and David Brooks must be visiting the Old Country – Canada.

bw222 on February 27, 2014 at 8:28 PM

And what about Nikki Haley?

bluegill on February 27, 2014 at 8:26 PM

I have family in SC. For the most part, they’ve been happy with the things Nikki Haley has accomplished, especially in her stand against Obamacare. They aren’t happy about her position on Common Core, though.

lineholder on February 27, 2014 at 8:31 PM

Well bw, she is an attractive woman. Not my type but attractive nonetheless.

ojfltx on February 27, 2014 at 7:47 PM

Click on Josh Rogin in the first paragraph and get back to me on that. And, remember Kelly Ayotte is only 45.

bw222 on February 27, 2014 at 8:33 PM

Hell no on Ayotte. Fallin has Brewer-itis, her stint as governor makes her more moderate with each passing day.

AH_C on February 27, 2014 at 8:43 PM

She is my Senator and HELL NO. She lied to get elected. She sucked up to the TEA party folks and even the libertarians while campaigning however she is now very much a RINO. She is Juan McAmnesty and Miss Lindsey’s little biotch now. She will not get my support ever again.

D-fusit on February 27, 2014 at 8:58 PM

Palin / Cruz or Palin / West are the right choices

ChuckTX on February 27, 2014 at 9:00 PM

I call Ayotte one of the “Gang of Four” that routinely votes with the Democrats. For example, she voted with the Democrats for extending federal unemployment benefits (along with Heller, Collins, and Murkowski) but changed her vote to no after it was obvious there wouldn’t be enough votes to pass.

crosspatch on February 27, 2014 at 9:12 PM

She might have hard enough time winning re-election, especially if Maggie Hassan runs. Not happening.

cdog0613 on February 27, 2014 at 9:14 PM

Ayotte won the primary on the strength of her ‘ no amnesty of illegals.’ She won the election on the strength of her ‘ no amnesty of illegals.’

Now she supports ‘amnesty for illegals’.

Why would republicans support a candidate that lies to your face?… Democrats can do that much better.

dusaa-1975 on February 27, 2014 at 9:18 PM

If Bill Kristol and the Neo Cons and Rinos and Aallapundit push a candidat, conservatives need to run away as fast as the O did in leaving 4 Americans to die in Benghazi.

they lie on February 27, 2014 at 9:58 PM

I threw up a little in my mouth reading that headline.

ColdHeartedPatriot on February 27, 2014 at 10:11 PM

“Ayotte can be forgiven for voting for amnesty”

By whom? I never will.

ColdHeartedPatriot on February 27, 2014 at 10:13 PM

Be prepared to have your life ruined and your family attacked is all I have to say.

The news media has a track record of destroying Republicans and attacking their families.

OxyCon on February 27, 2014 at 10:29 PM

Ayotte is Grahamnesty with a skirt, only more masculine. She sucks in spades.

Jaibones on February 27, 2014 at 10:41 PM

Lol..nah….

therightwinger on February 27, 2014 at 10:51 PM

We understand the rationale lineholder but it seems to be the only way to take the war on women off the table. Particularly with the media.

ojfltx on February 27, 2014 at 7:46 PM

If you let Dems set the narrative, that’s probably true. I would suggest that considering some issues that play a big role in the lives of women, such as quality of education, could gain more headway against the “war on women” that a lot of people think.

lineholder on February 27, 2014 at 8:21 PM

If the problem were only the Dems line holder it would be an easier task but Republicans have to fight politicians, the media and Hollywood. Unless they can mount an offensive in all of these fronts it will be very hard to set the narrative.

ojfltx on February 27, 2014 at 11:19 PM

I wish the GOP could come up with an ALL FEMALE ticket.

And an ALL FEMALE Congress for that matter.

jake-the-goose

Yeah, women like Ayotte, Murkowski, Collins and Snow would truly have us on the right path, lol.

You’re partly right though….men who come up with stupid ish like this have done plenty of damage.

We understand the rationale lineholder but it seems to be the only way to take the war on women off the table. Particularly with the media.

ojfltx

Ahh yes, the old “we have to surrender or the dems will beat us” strategy, lol. Sounds like a winner. Maybe we should just embrace liberalism completely then and get it off the table. Imagine the possibilities.

xblade on February 27, 2014 at 8:23 PM

The GOP can nominate a woman without surrendering xblade, can they not? Is there no woman that represent the conservative movement? That embrace the principles? If the GOP found a new Margaret Thatcher, would you call nominating her a surrender?

ojfltx on February 27, 2014 at 11:32 PM

If the problem were only the Dems line holder it would be an easier task but Republicans have to fight politicians, the media and Hollywood. Unless they can mount an offensive in all of these fronts it will be very hard to set the narrative.

ojfltx on February 27, 2014 at 11:19 PM

Let me put it this way. I know a lot of women with kids who want to see those kids have a chance at a decent future. That’s not going to happen if we can’t compete in world trade. Education becomes a significant point of interest for those women. And we aren’t just talking about Conservatives either. It spans the spectrum, even over to Social Liberals.

See many Repubs pushing issues like this to the forefront?

Here’s another one. Quality of life. Patient advocacy. Patient rights. Think women don’t consider these issues, with Obamacare on the horizon? That’s another issue that spans broader than the margins of Conservatives.

There are options out there. We just need people bold enough and aggressive enough to pursue them.

lineholder on February 28, 2014 at 12:05 AM

If the problem were only the Dems line holder it would be an easier task but Republicans have to fight politicians, the media and Hollywood. Unless they can mount an offensive in all of these fronts it will be very hard to set the narrative.

ojfltx on February 27, 2014 at 11:19 PM

Let me put it this way. I know a lot of women with kids who want to see those kids have a chance at a decent future. That’s not going to happen if we can’t compete in world trade. Education becomes a significant point of interest for those women. And we aren’t just talking about Conservatives either. It spans the spectrum, even over to Social Liberals.

See many Repubs pushing issues like this to the forefront?

Here’s another one. Quality of life. Patient advocacy. Patient rights. Think women don’t consider these issues, with Obamacare on the horizon? That’s another issue that spans broader than the margins of Conservatives.

There are options out there. We just need people bold enough and aggressive enough to pursue them.

lineholder on February 28, 2014 at 12:05 AM

In a sense you are correct lineholder. One reason why is that Republicans, just like Democrats, become complacent. They usually win the married woman vote. But I do agree the GOP does a lousy job, a lousy job, reaching out to specific groups. They must improve on that or lose time and time again.

ojfltx on February 28, 2014 at 12:10 AM

Wow. Allah is usually a great analyst on this stuff, but this is just stupid. Josh Rogin?

Jaibones on February 28, 2014 at 3:39 AM

Is there no woman that represent the conservative movement? That embrace the principles?

ojfltx on February 27, 2014 at 11:32 PM

Representative Marsha Blackburn from TN.

Flora Duh on February 28, 2014 at 5:10 AM

Since the senate immigration bill essentially went nowhere after passage, maybe the R guys and gal were just playing a political game by being involved in the talks. They just were placed a little too close to the flame by the base and got singed.

Kissmygrits on February 28, 2014 at 9:39 AM

She is easily the hottest Senator in American history. Granted that’s not a very high bar, but still.

Lamont Cranston on February 28, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Ayotte sucks. She’s just another big-spending rino democrat. The only thing she is good at is getting in front of any camera she can find and sucking up to the military.

earlgrey on February 28, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Unless one of you Armchair Einsteins has a plan for invading every newsroom and editorial office in the MSM and replacing all the Pravda journalists with more reasonable, balanced ones, then we have to play the hand we’re dealt.

For the foreseeable future (at least until the newness wears off) Dems will continue to mop up with Novelty Nominations. It appears that we conservatives are the only group eager to live by the strictures of a “color blind, gender blind” society. If having a President or VP candidate with a vag is what it takes to get us in the game, so be it.

In fact, let’s outflank the dems and throw a Haley/Martinez ticket at ‘em. If the electorate wants shameless identity pandering, we’re all capitalists, let’s give the customers what they want.

Lamont Cranston on February 28, 2014 at 10:50 AM

I’d say the HA verdict has been rendered. No on Ayotte .

Bmore on February 28, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Kelly Ayotte? Huh?

So let me see if I have this straight. The way to counter the Democrats identity politics strategy is to…mimic it?

And Republicans can’t figure out why they don’t win. Good grief. Whose running the party- the Marx Brothers?

Hillary is not qualified to be president. In fact there is a plethora of arguments to the contrary. And Cory Booker for VP because he’s…black and will be the electoral “crack” that keeps African Americans addicted? That’s perhaps the most condescending, irresponsible tactic I’ve ever heard. Has that demographic somehow escape the disastrous economic situation Democrats have put us in?

How about running people who are qualified and have shown, based on experience they can run our country? That goes for both parties.

Honestly, look at our country’s current global challenges. Is that evidence Hillary has done a great job? Cripes, even the Canadians are pissed at us. And Cory Booker? Is Newark some shining example of his qualifications? Is the thought to make our country resemble something between what Hillary did in Libya and what Booker did in Newark.

God. We are worse off then I thought.

Marcus Traianus on February 28, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Unless one of you Armchair Einsteins has a plan for invading every newsroom and editorial office in the MSM and replacing all the Pravda journalists with more reasonable, balanced ones, then we have to play the hand we’re dealt.

Indeed we do. That doesn’t mean being a lemming, which apparently the feckless Republican leadership believes it does.

It means making cogent, consistent arguments for your party and candidates. It means leading, not following. It means having a candidate who can forcefully and persuasively make arguments to the electorate. Someone with personality, accomplishments and the moxie to fight for people.

People are finished with the weak, mealy-mouthed, cloakroom dealing candidates who are selected and promoted based on some foolish party denizens idea of what matches the polls. How’s that worked out in the past? Rhetorically not at all.

I’m a little tired of the alleged “smartest guy in the room” telling us we should run a woman because- Hillary!

Let’s find and run the best candidate. And if that’s a woman- so be it. By the way, Look at what Susanna Martinez has done and how she articulates her point of view. Not some meandering buffoon like Kelly Ayotte the party clown brigade thinks polls well.

Marcus Traianus on February 28, 2014 at 11:12 AM

I don’t think her vote for the Gang of Eight bill will disqualify her.

It sure as heck disqualifies her for me. So, good luck with that.
Every GOP squish on immigration might as well be a Democrat as far as I’m concerned. I will NOT forgive and forget this time.

Murf76 on February 28, 2014 at 11:19 AM

And yeah, I realize it’s goofy to be thinking about this now,

Oh good. That saves me the effort of stating the obvious.

MJBrutus on February 28, 2014 at 11:20 AM

It means having a candidate who can forcefully and persuasively make arguments to the electorate. Someone with personality, accomplishments and the moxie to fight for people.

Soooo basically, we need to get Dr.Frankenstein in the lab to reanimate Ronald Reagan, because we have no one in the game right now who matches that description.

Here’s the deal, white males are the only population cohort dumb enough to spread their vote around between the two parties. Like it or not, women and minorities vote for people who look like them. Failing that, they’ll vote Democrat. Burying our heads in the sand will not make that fact go away.

It’s wonderful to have these lofty, noble principles of the right message trumping the right candidate, but in practice it just doesn’t work. You want to make real, substantive change in this country? Win some damn elections. And in this brave, new world of identity politicking, being vaginally-challenged in 2016 will not help.

Lamont Cranston on February 28, 2014 at 11:29 AM

I hate the witch.

She is a BIG liar, and Sarah Palin should disown her.

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 12:18 PM

She hates Ted Cruz and he knows it.

She is McVain’s diaper.

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 12:19 PM

It’s way too early for 2016 talk but allow me to confidently suggest that if, as in 2008 and 2012 there is more excitement and interest over who the VP choice is than who the actual Presidential nominee is, then the Republicans will lose again.

One sign that we actually have a chance at winning will be if we get to April/May 2016 and no one cares who the VP choice is because we’re all excited about who the P nominee is.

ht355 on February 28, 2014 at 1:24 PM

NO.

I voted for her in 2010.
Kelly Ayotte stood right next to me when we were at an event, and LIED about never supporting amnesty for ILLEGAL ALIEN INVADERS.

First chance she got, right on Chuck-you Schumer’s buddy list.

She HESITATED to the end on her ‘no’ vote on the gun registration bill (another Schumer authored POS), which is why the out of state groups came after her, since she looked weak.
Again – she had PROMISED to never vote against the 2nd amendment (but dithered).

As for her time as AG, she was another mouth-piece/butt buddy for the cops.
New Hampshire has a corrupt and broken judicial system and she played along to get along.
She IGNORED voter fraud.
She is – and has been – another affirmative action hire her whole life.
And don’t get me started about that screechy VOICE!

HammerNH on February 28, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Traitorous RINO witch!

redware on February 28, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Are you tired of throwing Chris Christie at us?

You know we would really laugh hard, loudly, doubled over in
our chairs if you suggested Ayotte as a presidential candidate.

Not wanting to make a complete a$$ out of yourself, you trot out
Kelly.

We still laughing, perhaps not as hard, perhaps not doubled over
in our chairs; however, still laughing. Mostly at you.

Amjean on February 28, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Go with Nikki Haley for VP as she has executive experience.

KirknBurker on February 27, 2014 at 7:06 PM

Good suggestion. Definitely someone to think about.

Amjean on February 28, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Not another RINO I swear I will not work for the GOP if they run stupid people..

Bullhead on February 28, 2014 at 11:55 PM

Establishment cranks, such as AP, will be very surprised when the dems win in a landslide this November.

Mr. Arrogant on March 1, 2014 at 7:52 AM

Not another RINO I swear I will not work for the GOP if they run stupid people..
Bullhead on February 28, 2014 at 11:55 PM

I keep hearing this, but it seems like every election cycle, these same people keep supporting and voting for RINO’s again and again, and again.

Brock Robamney on March 1, 2014 at 8:24 AM

It’s way too early for 2016 talk but allow me to confidently suggest that if, as in 2008 and 2012 there is more excitement and interest over who the VP choice is than who the actual Presidential nominee is, then the Republicans will lose again.
One sign that we actually have a chance at winning will be if we get to April/May 2016 and no one cares who the VP choice is because we’re all excited about who the P nominee is.
ht355 on February 28, 2014 at 1:24 PM

I could never understand this logic. The VP does nothing unless god forbid something happens to the President. If you need a conservative VP to motivate you, then we are in real trouble. Look at Paul Ryan. Biden made Ryan look like a bumbling fool, yet this is what we get when we let Karl Ohio Svengali and the US Chamber of Crony Capitalism select our candidates

Brock Robamney on March 1, 2014 at 8:29 AM

She is – and has been – another affirmative action hire her whole life.
And don’t get me started about that screechy VOICE!
HammerNH on February 28, 2014 at 1:36 PM

You are so right. And, as you say, worst of all is that she is a traitor on the illegal alien amnesty issue.

bluegill on March 2, 2014 at 5:28 PM

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