Ayotte Gets Listed
A brief item in a Washington Post blog last Friday received a fair bit of attention in the Granite State over the weekend. Conservative blogger David Weigel was live-blogging the Susan B. Anthony List annual fundraising breakfast, and casually noted in his post that among those in attendance was none other than former state Attorney General and U.S. Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte. The pro-life group’s 550-person, Washington, D.C. event was scheduled to be keynoted by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. The news of Ayotte’s attendance was predictably greeted by state Democrats with the usual Kelly is too busy being a faux right-wing Washington insider to care about New Hampshire (bonus Sarah Palin edition).
But the item does raise the legitimate question of what Ayotte hopes to gain by attending this event in Washington. It has already been well-established that Ayotte is firmly in the loop with Republican institutional elites at the National Republican Senatorial Committee. So, she is probably looking to tap into a similar national network for movement conservatives, one which could provide her with some outside cred on social issues, as well as potential access to another fundraising stream. Perhaps Ayotte is also hoping for an official Palin endorsement, but I’ve previous discussed why Palin alone isn’t necessarily a sufficient draw for New Hampshire Republicans.  At a minimum, Ayotte is clearly thinking about ways of benefiting from better access to the powerful grassroots activists who populate the world of socially conservative advocacy groups.
Note:  I'll be away tomorrow, and back posting on Wednesday. -Dean

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