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Kelly Ann Ayotte (/ˈeɪɒt/; AY-ot; born June 27, 1968) was the junior U.S. Senator from New Hampshire, serving a term lasting from 2011 into the wee hours of 2017. A female member of the Republican Party, she is the only Republican in New Hampshire's four-member, female congressional delegation, and that is using the term very loosely (Republican, not female). She is also the youngest of the 20 female Senators, and the seventh-youngest overall. And did we mention she is a woman?
Ayotte frequently teases Tea Party Republicans, but never puts out. Indeed, when Senate Republicans try to argue that Barack Obama is acting recklessly and lawlessly, they often trot out Ayotte, who makes a speech in her quaking voice, seemingly moments from crying. And damned if Obama doesn't immediately get his way.
edit Career in New Hampshire
Unlike most of the Senate candidates brought in from outside to claim to espouse "New Hampshire values," Ayotte was actually born in Nashua, though she went safely out-of-state to study law. It was New Hampshire values (chiefly, unemployability on the outside) that brought her back to become a lawyer and then the state's Attorney General from 2004 through 2009.
edit Planned Parenthood v. New Hampshire
A signature early case that made Ayotte the darling of conservatives was when Planned Parenthood sued to overturn a law that all abortion patients had to spend a week in the stocks on a town common, reading helpful state publications on abortion from the fetus's point of view. She defied her Governor to defend the law before the Supreme Court, weakly implying that she agreed with the law. However, when the New Hampshire amateur legislature underwent its next signature swing to the left and repealed the law, the case fell apart. As conservatives were drowning their sorrows, Ayotte cut a hefty check to the plaintiffs as a consolation prize.
edit Addison v. Civility
Ayotte personally prosecuted notorious cases such as that of cop-killer Michael Addison. Several other lawyers criticized her, saying that her status as a politician was a conflict of interest, and murderers should only be prosecuted by Attorneys General unfamiliar with politics. Nevertheless, Addison is now on the state's Death Row (the line of discount gas stations on US-1 just before the bridge for Kittery, Maine), where he awaits another giant sea change in the legislature that will repeal the death-penalty law too, and perhaps the one against murder.
edit Castle Doctrine
Conservatives were aghast when Ayotte failed to argue that "a man's home is his castle" when the castle in question was a hilltop mansion where husband-and-wife tax resisters, and invitees at their sleepover, were holding off U.S. Marshals with rifles and booby traps.
The reader won't find that in leftie Wikipedia, but will find charges that Ayotte knew-or-should-have-known that several financial institutions were stealing money and intentionally failed to prosecute them. It also criticizes Ayotte for deliberate deletion of emails toward the end of her service as A.G., claiming she should have followed the lead of Mitt Romney in Massachusetts, who instead purchased the hard disks in the Governor's office and took them home.
edit 2010 election to U.S. Senate
After sitting Senator Judd Gregg (pictured prior to sitting) teased President Barack Obama to appoint him Secretary of Commerce, Gregg got an inkling that Obama no more wanted the 2010 Census to simply count Americans than he wanted the IRS to simply collect taxes; also the inkling that Gregg's days of appearing to be a loyal Republican had come to an abrupt end. He retired from government in favor of a career as the namesake for bridges and public parks.
The party searched for a new face who would arouse conservatives but hold off on the log-rolling until they looked away. Squeaky Ayotte squeaked past Ovide® Lamontagne,
an anti-abortion candidate a candidate who was Running on a Jobs Platform. Tea Party members who tried to flog the "Castle Doctrine" thing faced voters who had never even unraveled "Castle Grande." (Lamontagne, who was too nice to ask for a recount, or to bloody up his next opponent but only keep denying he wanted to make abortion a crime, is now Executive Director of the Fetus Rights Foundation.)
edit Balanced Budget Amendment
Ayotte's first signature issue was a Balanced Budget Amendment. Its eleven ponderous sections, only slightly longer than the entire rest of the Constitution, required taxes to cover spending, so the Senator did not have to say which she thought should change to fit.
No one is against national defense, and the Amendment did not apply in years in which the U.S. is at war, or fighting an undeclared war, police action, outreach-to-Islam involving shooting, War on Drugs, or War on Poverty. A supermajority of Congress could spend more anyway, especially if they claimed the alternative would wreck the nation's credit rating and starve the poor. The Amendment had triggers such as 18% of G.D.P. and figuring out how much revenue was caused by cutting tax rates, which would save the economy by putting to work thousands of lawyers and accountants.
Surprisingly, it barely failed to get two-thirds of the Senate and be sent to the states for approval, so everyone is on record as being for it, and nothing happened.
edit Comprehensive immigration reform
The next windmill at which Ayotte tilted was to claim "our immigration system is broken" and dance away from the word "amnesty" — the winning strategy that explains why George W. Bush still gets so many speaking invitations from the GOP. Unfortunately, Ayotte's solution:
- Was longer and less readable than Obama-care, and more amenable to "waivers" by a President eager to wave in potential new voters;
- Set up a new system in parallel with the "broken" one, staffed by the same people who broke it, to handle only people who had broken the law (but that doesn't mean it's amnesty);
- Added dozens of victimless crimes, for those willing to confront any problem with new charges against Walmart; and
- Authorized the government, which had just shown it could not operate a health care website, to super-size "e-Verify" into a website for federal work permits for adults.
Ayotte's next moment in the sun was just after Ted Cruz gave his 21-hour-long anti-Obama-care "filibuster." Republicans, torn over the goal of this stunt, had settled on demanding a token 12-month delay in the new law. However, like the Bob Dole of a new generation, Ayotte declared, "We can't win this fight" — the "fight" being the struggle to persuade anyone of anything. She thus became the spokeswoman for Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Benedict Arnold, briefly mentioned as a McCain running mate in 2012, until Sarah Palin stepped up, reminding Americans of the need for gravitas for the first time since Bush won without it.
Having preemptively surrendered on the field of ideas, Ayotte offered instead several micro-initiatives, including:
- Further screwing up internet charges in the North Country, then paying off the providers;
- Bringing home more "bacon," such as funding for county government liaison on the serious "money-laundering" crisis;
- Supporting any fundraisers at the supermarket check-out, and any awareness-raising campaign involving ribbons of any color.
edit 2014 election
Safely off the ballot until 2016, Ayotte directed the campaign to tuck other Republicans into office, mostly "safe bets" the voters knew well (as they had when they voted them out in 2012). Ayotte said the goal now was to "reach across the aisle and end partisan gridlock." Republicans are no strangers to surrender, but this was the first year Kumbayah was the keynote.
Scott Brown (pictured) had had the Massachusetts Senate seat fall into his lap, but lost it in 2010 through inability to rebut a Marxist. He moved to New Hampshire to see if he could do it again. Primary opponents faulted him for voting with Obama and he promptly faulted his opponent for the same thing — though bills where everyone votes with Obama are the only ones that the Senate lets come to a vote at all.
The state party made a compelling case that all the Democrats in office were trolls. The only fly in the ointment was Ayotte's theme that the year's goal was to build bridges to them. Brown had some heady rhetoric about sealing the borders that made New Hampshire voters giddy (though they usually mean the border with Brown's recent home state). Then they recalled how Ayotte sounded, until she sounded different and her flack scolded them to clean their own ears.
Brown proved he still was a pro at being unable to rebut a Marxist, and voters sent Jeanne Shaheen the Spending Machine to Washington to try to achieve Bingo at an all-female delegation — not the first time that people from New Hampshire are distracted from the real issues by the presence of tits. Unfortunately, the milestone would have to wait, as one male Congressman was invited on-stage for a brief encore despite illegally running an earlier campaign with a quarter million dollars of his parents' money that "I always felt was mine."
edit Drug Crisis
As Ayotte's re-election neared, a new crisis emerged, one that required dropping work on all other issues. No one expected that, in the fifth decade of the War on Drugs, the nation would have a drug crisis, but the health bureaucracy reported an epidemic of heroin deaths, mostly caused by heroin that wasn't necessarily pure and wasn't necessarily heroin, with midnight rest-area transactions often leading to gunplay — things that never happened before the War on Drugs. The obvious solution was more federal spending just before an election.
edit 2016 election
A bright light emerged from the total fog of Ayotte's term, but it was a locomotive, as New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan made a move toward an office with some actual power. Haggie's husband was a headmaster of Exeter Academy, and their pillow talk never extended to the pervy teacher on the payroll, whom the husband covered up by placing him on the Executive Board of the wife's campaign committee. This scandal was turned aside as there were no underage staffers in the campaign that he could diddle. But other issues were Haggie's weeks of time spent out-of-state, the campaign contributions she returned with, and whether she notified anyone she was leaving, so that the alleged functions of Governor could be performed in her absence. These petty issues turned grand mal when CNN asked her whether she thought that Hillary Clinton was "honest and trustworthy." The question was asked three times, and Haggie's answers were:
- She is our party's nominee. I'm pretty sure of it.
- Our party's super-delegates expressed their will and Bernie Sanders should get on board.
- You know, the leaves are turning wonderful colors this year despite the lack of rain.
The inept performance would have spelled doom except that the incumbent was the unofficial chair of the Senate Ineptness Committee. In a Greyhound-sized campaign bus declaring, "Listening, Learning," parked in a supermarket's fire lane, Ayotte assured voters that, after six years in Washington, she still safely had no beliefs at all. Until she talks to you. This was thoroughly convincing, because Republicans had been telling voters they could do nothing about Obama-care until they won the Senate, which happened two years before, and nothing continued happening.
Thus, the two candidates rhetorically circled one another without ever landing an ideological punch. A bellwether event happened when video surfaced of Donald Trump assuring a reporter he was so famous he was able to grab women by the pussy. Ayotte, who two days earlier called Trump a "good role model for young girls," now joined her opponent as candidates frantically trying to ditch their own Presidential candidates. The total confusion let up briefly on November 8, because it was Election Day. By November 11, someone had plowed one lane up into the Coös to get the vote totals from the North Country, and Ayotte gave a concession speech and rode off into the sunset — to a final Lame Duck session to cast votes that no one could ever punish her for, mostly because they already had.
edit See also
The Chinless One
|Senator from New Hampshire|