Ayotte to join Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics as fellow

Monitor staff
Published: 1/19/2017 10:36:15 AM

Former U.S. senator Kelly Ayotte has been named one of three distinguished visiting fellows at Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics for spring 2017.

Ayotte lost her competitive re-election bid to Democrat Maggie Hassan, and has stayed largely under the radar since the November defeat. The Republican has denied several interview requests by the Monitor to talk about her future plans.

Harvard announced the news Thursday morning in a press release. Other visiting fellows include former Vermont governor Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, and Ray Mabus, U.S. Secretary of the Navy.

Soon after Republican Donald Trump was elected president, Ayotte’s name was floated as a possible pick for Defense secretary or Ambassador to the United Nations. Trump quickly shot down the rumors. “No, thank you,” he told the New York Times in an interview after the election.

Ayotte and Trump had a contentious relationship during the election. Ayotte supported, but did not endorse the businessman’s candidacy for most of the campaign, earning ridicule from Democrats for the wordplay. In October, she dropped her support entirely when a 2005 video surfaced showing the businessman boasting about groping women without consent.

Ayotte lost to Hassan by roughly 1,000 votes, out of more than 700,000 cast, but she did not request a recount.

The Republican isn’t the first New Hampshire politician to earn a position at the Institute of Politics. Democrat Jeanne Shaheen was named Director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2005, a few years after she ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate.

(Allie Morris can be reached at 369-3307 or amorris@cmonitor.com)

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