In Prez16, a blog devoted to the 2016 presidential race, Christian Heinze points out that despite Ayotte’s “New Hampshire roots and moderate demeanor,” Club for Growth ranked her the 10th most conservative lawmaker in the Senate:
Ayotte is a fierce conservative who strikes voters as a moderate.
Gillibrand is a fierce liberal who strikes voters as a moderate.
Those are potent combinations in presidential politics, because in order to become your party’s nominee, you have to convince the base you’re one of them, and in order to win the general election, you have to convince moderates that you’re not really part of the base that just elected you!
As such, the best way to conceptualize Ayotte and Gillibrand’s political ethos is in the phrase — “they are not what they seem.”
"In other words," he explains, "they’re like products in SkyMall magazines."
SkyMall, the ubiquitous airplane seat pocket magazine, is filled with products like, for example, the Dictionary Diversion Safe. “Looks like a real book,” but is really a safe to hide valuables — “one of the last places a thief would think to look.”
Well, you get the idea…