BEDFORD PATCH: Local Business Leaders Like Ayotte as VP
As originally appearing in Bedford Patch

U.S. Senator impresses with poise, experience, knowledge and candor.

By Ryan O’Connor

Right now, Kelly Ayotte says she’s not even thinking about rumors that she may be a potential running mate for likely GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

The junior U.S. senator, who today met with roughly 100 local business leaders at a New England Council breakfast at the Bedford Village Inn, said her primary focus right now is representing New Hampshire and doing her part to improve the country’s current economic state.

“It’s a great honor to be mentioned, but the best honor I could have is the job that I have right now, which is to represent the people of New Hampshire in the U.S. Senate,” said Ayotte. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to solve and really get our fiscal house in order in Washington and then create a strong climate so we can grow our economy.”

Still, many of those in attendance see Ayotte as a wise choice for the Republican ticket.

“There are some people who may say ‘two New Englanders, in particular Massachusetts and New Hampshire, we don’t know if that’s the best ticket,'” said New England Council President Jim Brett. “But I will say she is a very strong candidate for any consideration, whether it is the ticket or a possible cabinet position, but I think overall, she loves being a United States Senator.

“I think it says a lot about what people think of her, that her name is even being considered after only 18 months of service in the United States Senate,” Brett continued. “It says an awful lot about her character, her reputation and her work ethic, and I think it bodes well for her in the United States Senate.”

At the very least, the very mention of her name as a possible VP candidate speaks to her resume and personality, said University System of New Hampshire Chancellor Edward MacKay and Rath Group Co-Founder Judith Rhines.

“I think it’s a reflection on her poise and her background, the fact that she’s been the attorney general for the state and has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court and has become well versed in a variety of issues … she’s on the Senate Budget Committee, Armed Service Committee, two key committees,” said MacKay. “So you look at a person’s profile and background, you have to look not just at the length of service, but the significance of there service. I think that reflects well not only on her, but the state of New Hampshire.”

“She’s a serious person. She’s someone who wants to get things done and I think that’s something we need on the ticket as well,” added Rhines.

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