Robert Draper’s New York Times Magazine piece on Sarah Palin’s kitchen cabinet adds some voyeuristic detail around Palin’s endorsement of Kelly Ayotte. That Ovide Lamontagne is quite the charmer, isn’t he?
In the New Hampshire Senate race, Palin threw her support behind the establishment candidate Kelly Ayotte rather than a Tea Party favorite who tried to endear himself to Palin by sending her a photograph of himself alongside the carcass of a deer he had just shot.
Draper turns to Andy Smith for insight on why Palin did endorse Ayotte over Lamontagne. Smith says it was strategic.
When I asked Andy Smith, the University of New Hampshire Survey Center’s director and pollster, to explain why Palin had chosen Ayotte, he promptly answered: “I think she wanted to back a winner. Like Branstad in Iowa. I think she wanted people who would be in positions to help her out.”
But then, why did Palin pass up a chance to visit New Hampshire and campaign with Ayotte? Draper can’t really say.
And since 2008, Palin has yet to travel to New Hampshire, having turned down a triumphalist Tea Party Express rally in Concord the evening before Election Day. In both cases, her aides told me, Palin was overscheduled. But since Sarah Palin is the keeper of her own itinerary, we are left to wonder whether these omissions suggest disorganization, lack of foresight, ambivalence, distrust of politicos or some combination of the above.
Maybe she’s just not into the Granite State?