The veepstakes talk has ramped up to a near-fever pitch this week, now that Mitt Romney has all but clinched the Republican nomination. The usual names have been bandied about: Marco Rubio, Rob Portman, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie. But if Romney wants to make inroads with the female vote, there's one candidate who would be a compelling choice.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte isn't a household name inside the Beltway, but has a resume
that should instantly attract attention from Romney advisers. The first female attorney general in New Hampshire history, she prosecuted
several high-profile murder cases and won plaudits from Republicans and
Democrats alike - including the state's Democratic governor John Lynch. She
campaigned for the Senate on a fiscally conservative platform, and beat a
sitting Democratic congressman by a whopping 23-point margin. She was one
of Romney's earliest backers among elected officials, endorsing him in the run-up to his comfortable New Hampshire
primary victory. And New
Hampshire is, after all, a swing state, albeit one
with just four electoral votes.