At the end of each session of Congress it is a tradition for the Senate to pause for a moment to acknowledge and express our appreciation for the service of each senator who will not be returning for the next session. One of those we will miss next year will be Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.
During the past six years, those of us who had a chance to come to know and work with her have been impressed with her dedication to the people of her home state, her involvement with the issues of concern to them, and her willingness to work with members on both sides of the aisle to find solutions to the problems and concerns of the people of New Hampshire.
Three steps brought her to the Senate after she earned her law degree from Villanova. First, she spent a year clerking for the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Then she spent the next part of her career in private practice. The third step brought her into the state attorney general’s office and then on to serve as Attorney General.
When Senator Judd Gregg announced his retirement Kelly knew the time was right for her to pursue another goal that strongly motivated her and would produce the best from her. She decided to run for the Senate so she resigned as Attorney General to make it possible.
It wasn’t easy as she battled forces that some thought might defeat her. Those who doubted her underestimated her innate political sense and her ability to reach the people of New Hampshire. In the end she was able to bring about a closely fought but well-earned victory in the primary and a big win in the general election.
She then came to Washington and she started right up working on a number of issues that she knew were a concern to the people back home. She made it clear that she would fight for what she believed to be best for the people of her home state, whether or not it left some observers shaking their heads.
It’s unfortunate that she will be leaving the Senate after this six year introduction that has made her love of New Hampshire and the United States very clear. If her past is any indication of her future, I think it is clear that she will be closing the door on this great chapter of her life and moving on to something new. Whatever that may prove to be I am certain it will make good use of her talents, abilities, background, knowledge and experience. I hope it is in some part of our government. There is no doubt that we need good people like Kelly to make this a better country for us all.
I have a prediction to make about her future -- we haven’t seen the last of Kelly Ayotte. She has a lot more to give to our country and I think we’re all looking forward to seeing it.
Diana joins in sending our best wishes to you, and our appreciation for your willingness to serve in the government. There are countless sayings about how politics isn’t for anyone but the brave and the resilient. I think your experience, especially this past year, has shown that you are more than tough enough for any career challenge. Good luck in whatever you choose to do next. Clearly, you specialize in making the world a better place and that is a win/win for us all – especially our children and grandchildren.