Political Proposal

An Ayotte Vice Presidential pick would be another New Hampshire first



Illustration by Peter Noonan

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has asked a lot of New Hampshire in his quest for the White House. He ran basically non-stop for president here for eight years, even buying a Wolfeboro vacation home. As the Republican presidential nominee he'll ask the state to swing his way, but before that he might ask Granite Staters for one more thing: to give up its U.S. Senator.

Romney's biggest decision this summer is who to pick as his running mate, and pundits say there is a very strong case to be made for New Hampshire's junior Senator, Kelly Ayotte. In fact, a recent ABC News report suggested she was in the top five options for Romney.

New Hampshire has never had a native resident become a nominee to be vice president. Frank Knox, the founder of the Manchester Leader (which came before the merged Union Leader newspaper), was selected as Alf Landon's running mate in 1936, but at the time he lived in Illinois. Henry Wilson actually served as the vice president for President Ulysses Grant. Wilson was born in Farmington, but moved to Massachusetts at a young age and became a Massachusetts Senator.

Ayotte is a loyal Romney supporter who endorsed him when he needed it the most - ahead of the state's presidential primary. The Romney campaign believes her endorsement ended any doubt he would win our first-in-the-nation primary.

Vice presidential nominees can do very little to help a ticket, but they can help win a crucial state. Ayotte has only run one campaign, but she is the state's most popular Republican and New Hampshire's four electoral votes are up for grabs.

"If selected, Ayotte will be an instant national political figure just three years after she gave her first political stump speech."

Finally, she is a woman. In 2008, John McCain lost women voters to Barack Obama by 13 percentage points. For Romney to win he will need to close that gap as much as possible. Selecting a woman as his running mate is a start.

If Romney picks Ayotte, a fired-up Republican base (hoping to send a Nashua native to be the number two in American government) should drive turnout. As a result, Republicans would be more likely to win the open governor's race, both seats in Congress and majorities in the Statehouse.

It would also mean that the state would have an open US Senate seat to fill. By law the sitting governor would fill the vacancy, but the state would have a wild year in 2014 when it would elect two US Senators.

If selected, Ayotte will be an instant national political figure just three years after she gave her first political stump speech. If the ticket wins, Ayotte becomes a heartbeat away from the presidency. If the Romney ticket loses, Ayotte is the instant frontrunner for the presidential nomination itself in 2016. And if that happens then, on the 100-year anniversary of the first New Hampshire Primary, the contest will be rendered irrelevant because we'll have one of our own running.

Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. Secret Swimming Spots
    So maybe "secret" is a stretch, but if you're looking to escape the summer crowds, then here are...
  2. The Famous NH Family You've Never Heard Of (Probably)
    Do you know about the Hutchinson Family Singers? We're guessing the answer is "no." It's time you...
  3. Experience Tradition at the Annual Craftsmen's Fair
    The League of New Hampshire Craftsmen's annual fair draws more than 25,000 visitors annually....
  4. Step Back in Time in New London
    Enjoy a weekend getaway to a town with quite the knack for preserving the past.
  5. Learning to Fly Fish
    One newcomer to the Granite State spent a weekend in May learning how to fly fish. See what she...
  6. Debunking Food Allergy Myths
    Get the facts on some commonly held beliefs about food allergies.
  7. Manchester Project Turns Utility into Art
    The city's latest public art project, Think Outside the Box, uses traffic signal boxes as an...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags