Ayotte for Veep? Ask Vice President Shaheen

If only I'd come up with a way to carry NH back in 2000...

If all the buzz about Senator Ayotte being considered for vice president has a familiar ring, it might be because you’ve read these stories before:

“If Gore hopes to win favor with women voters by tapping a woman running mate–or, at least, weighing the option–the names being floated at this early stage are New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen and Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, both active Gore supporters.” (Mark Barabak, LA Times, 6/22/99)

“The Democratic ‘mentioning machine’ is countering with its own list of women: California Sen. Dianne Feinstein is deemed by far the most qualified Democratic woman to run for No. 2, but other names that pop up include New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, California’s other senator, Barbara Boxer, and even a lieutenant governor – Kathleen Kennedy Townsend of Maryland.” (Linda Feldmann, Christian Science Monitor, 7/12/99)

“What lies ahead for Shaheen is not clear. If Gore wins New Hampshire and the nomination, she no doubt will be mentioned as a possible vice presidential running mate, although she attempted to deflect those questions on the day of the endorsement.” (Dan Balz, Washington Post, 12/12/99)

“If Bush has chosen a female running mate and Gore feels pressure to match him, he might turn to New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, who helped deliver a decisive primary victory to the vice president and would bring centrist credentials to the ticket.” (Dan Balz, Washington Post, 4/10/2000)

“For more than a year, it was Jeanne Shaheen who was in Gore’s sights, precisely because her gender was an added, not the sole, benefit. In fact, her boosters for veep are said to have included the campaign’s chief kibbitzer, President Clinton himself.” (Thomas Oliphant, Boston Globe, 4/24/2000)

“There’s been considerable talk that Shaheen’s name might be on a list of possible vice-presidential running mates for Vice President Al Gore. Shaheen’s legal counsel and close aide, Judy Reardon, says the governor is not interested. According to Reardon, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson told Shaheen during a recent New Hampshire trip that Warren Christopher, who is running Gore’s V.P. search, had told him Shaheen was one of the poeple – and the only woman – on Gore’s list.” (Laura Kiernan, Boston Globe, 5/14/2000)

“Among the finalists, according to several key Democrats familiar with the process, are Sens. Bob Graham of Florida, Evan Bayh of Indiana, John Edwards of North Carolina, John Kerry of Massachusetts and Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut. Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell of Maine and New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen are also under consideration.” (Catalina Camia, Dallas Morning News, 7/25/2000)

“Democrat Al Gore has narrowed his search for a running mate to five members of Congress and a female governor, The Associated Press has learned. A Democratic source familiar with the vice president’s thinking said late Wednesday night that the closely guarded list consists only of Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt of Missouri, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, and Gov. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire.” (Ron Fournier, Associated Press, 8/3/2000)

“Shaheen, however, seemed to eliminate herself from the list yesterday by saying she won’t take the job. ‘How many times do I need to say that for you in order for you to get it?’ she said when questioned by reporters. Shaheen’s press secretary, Judy Reardon, said, ‘The governor doesn’t expect Vice President Gore to ask her, but if he did she would wish him good luck but respectfully decline the invitation.’” (Joe Battenfeld and Andrew Miga, Boston Herald, 8/4/2000)

“Lieberman, 58, beat out five other finalists: Sens. Evan Bayh of Indiana, John Edwards of North Carolina and John Kerry of Massachusetts; House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt of Missouri and New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen. Shaheen praised the selection as ‘an excellent choice.’ She said, ‘He’s a man of strong character and principle, and he really understands the economy we’re in.’ (Atlanta Journal Constitution, 8/7/2000)

fergus@ferguscullen.com, May 1, 2012

Author: Fergus Cullen

Fergus Cullen is a former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party (2007-2008) and an editorial page columnist for the New Hampshire Union Leader.

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