AG Maybe
06-17-2009
Well, Chuck Todd’s little tidbit in yesterday’s First Read about New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte being approached to run for Judd Gregg’s U.S. Senate has certainly given local political observers something fun on which to chew. It seems pretty clear that the idea has at least been broached with Ayotte. If you saw the brief clip run on WMUR-TV, her “nothing-to-add” smile at the end of the interview spoke volumes.
 
The question that immediately comes to mind is whether we can infer from this development that John E. Sununu has decided to forgo an attempt to reclaim a U.S. Senate seat in 2010. While it is conceivable that the Sununu and Ayotte decisions could be made independently of each other, I would be surprised if something of this magnitude was not run by the Sununu clan first for reaction, as a Sununu-Ayotte primary would be quite damaging to a state Republican Party that is currently trying to regain its electoral footing.
 
The other obvious question revolves around the kind of candidate Ayotte would be. She has long been the great hope in waiting for many Republicans who see her poise and credentials as perfect for a variety of elected statewide offices, but she is undeniably still a blank slate as a political campaigner. Also, while it is tempting to speculate about what Ayotte’s policy orientation would be, based upon the legal positions she has taken as attorney general, I have heard political observers describe her as both a moderate and as a conservative. These conflicting takes on her ideological comfort zone make it difficult to gauge her potential appeal to the big block of independent voters in the state, at least for the moment.


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