What rising GOP star Kelly Ayotte takes with her to the Senate.
- By Ben PaukerBen Pauker is executive editor, online, at Foreign Policy. Ben came to FP in May 2010 from World Policy Journal, where he was managing editor from 2007 to 2010. A native of New York, he grew up in Brazil, Australia, and Thailand and has written for Harper’s, the Economist, and the Chicago Tribune, among other publications. He is the co-founder of the Gastronauts, the world’s largest adventurous-eating club, and, in the course of reporting but mainly to see if it was possible, has smuggled small arms out of Central Africa.
First-term U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte, 44, is making a name for herself in foreign-policy circles, teaming up with her gray-haired Republican colleagues John McCain and Lindsey Graham to lead the GOP’s critique of Barack Obama’s administration. With a key seat on the Armed Services Committee, she has been dubbed the “third amiga,” filling the shoes of departed Sen. Joe Lieberman, who worked closely for years with McCain and Graham on international issues. A former New Hampshire attorney general, she brought a prosecutor’s eye to the investigation of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. As the wife of a former Air Force pilot, she says that maintaining a strong military amid pending defense cuts is her top priority. Here’s what the senator carries in her black Buxton leather tote.