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Sen. Kelly Ayotte Making Headlines in GOP Presidential Nomination

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The presidential election is twenty months away. It feels like a long time, but anyone wanting to be in the race should be already making moves. For serious contenders, every day counts.

The Republican presidential race is starting to heat up, and one name is being raised over and over by all sides of the party: Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.

A lawyer, and previously attorney general, she is a smart woman, who already balances family and serving the people through politics. She is on the list for some, but for others, on the Vice Presidential list. The word is that many of the GOP leadership like the idea of her for vice-president.

The main names in the ring now include Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana.

All those are relatively well known - and thre are others - but much conservative chatter is around Kelly Ayotte, because she is a leader.

Influential Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol gives his glowing endorsement, "Her prospects are good. Why not Pence-Ayotte or Walker-Ayotte? 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."

This is a stunning endorsement from one of Washington's biggest power brokers.

Steve Schmitt, campaign manager of Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential bid said, "There are fundamental questions around their electability and around Paul's ability on some issues to navigate himself toward the majority opinion of the GOP. Cruz is toxic and has no chance of national electability. Rubio damaged himself during the immigration debate. The reality for Republicans is that it couldn't possibly be more open."

"Compared to some of the other prospective candidates, Ayotte's resume stacks up. Ayotte, who is also up for reelection in 2016, came into the senate at the same time as Paul and Rubio and has two years more experience as a legislator than Cruz. Other GOP senators vying for national office all have huge flaws whereas Ayotte does not." - Steve Schmitt

Hillary Clinton is using "first woman president" rhetoric. Ayotte could balance that talk for the Republican ticket.

Ayotte is free of scandal, and she is very smart, preventing the left from saying republicans are not courting the women's vote.

Steve Schmitt agrees with Kristol that "The best way in a year when the field is as open as it is, the best way to be picked as vice president it to mount a presidential campaign. Show you can navigate that, sharpen your skills, and see how far you can go in that process. Kelly Ayotte has every potential to be able to do those things, but as of yet she has not yet been tested on the national stage."

The big money on the left understands her potential. In fact, Mitt Romney's campaign considered Ayotte for the ticket before choosing Rep. Paul Ryan. The thinking was Ryan would be a better geographical balance in Wisconsin, rather than New Hampshire.

Kristol noted, "One of the things that will happen next year, you might get a bit of a generational change, that's when you have Rubio, Ayotte, Arkansas Senate candidate Tom Cotton, and Alaska Senate candidate Dan Sullivan emerging"

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