While seen as a rising star in her party, Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte says she has no plans to be the nation's first female president.
“I think I’ll be campaigning for Kate Daley, my daughter, for president, that’s it. But absolutely I think we’ll have a woman president, no question. I really think it’ll certainly be in my lifetime, if not soon.”
T-shirts with the slogan “New Hampshire – Where Women Rule” were flying off the shelves. Posters were going like hot cakes.
The hall outside Friday morning’s gathering of New Hampshire’s all-female delegation – the first in the nation’s history – could have been the scene of a rock concert.
That carried over into the banquet hall at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, as nearly every member of the audience snapped pictures with their phones when the women took the stage.
The state’s two new Congressional representatives –Ann McLane Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter – were joined by Senators Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen.
Governor-elect Maggie Hassan rounded out the panel.
Ayotte says the good thing about being the first is that it won’t be the last.
“We all want to just be judged on what we bring and our qualifications and I think that’s what’s exciting about all of this.”
There was no substantive policy debate Friday, as the event focused on recognizing the historic accomplishment and what it means for gender equality.
Shea-Porter says it’s encouraging for younger women to know opportunities like running for national public office are there for them now.
“I had a mother tell me that her little girl looked at the screen and said, ‘Mom, all girls.”
Shaheen called on more women to run for public office. She says that while it is significant, she hopes someday an all-female delegation won’t be something unique.
Kuster says the ads she faced during her campaign against Charlie Bass were demeaning to women and voters took notice of that.