Kelly Ayotte for CIA Director

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 29 2012 10:50 AM

Kelly Ayotte for CIA Director

My colleague Matthew Yglesias has been spitballing a version of this idea with what sounds like knowing sarcasm. (It can be hard to tell.) He thinks Ayotte should be given the State department. I've tweaked the idea, and consider the possibilities.

- Ayotte, a first-term senator, hasn't actually come up with many foreign policy critiques of the administration apart from an understandable anger over the Benghazi debacle. So Obama can ring her up and say something like: "You're right, and I've agreed with you -- we screwed up on Benghazi. We need you to get to the bottom of it and repair our policy in the region. And after all, you served under Democrats and Republicans in New Hampshire."


- If Ayotte refuses, Washington chatters about why. Ayotte evolves from a freelance foreign policy expert to a figure whose expertise is questioned at the granular level.

- If she accepts, the job of replacing her in the Senate goes to incoming New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat. Ayotte's predecessor, Judd Gregg, was briefly nominated to be Barack Obama's first Commerce Secretary. At the time, Gov. John Lynch agreed to nominate a Republican placeholder. Hassan, who won a comfortable mandate, isn't under any such pressure, and could choose a Democratic replacement to serve until a 2014 election.

- The Democrats' Senate conference increases to 56 seats, which frees up the president to put John Kerry in State and risk (no one can agree on the scale of the risk) a special election loss to Scott Brown. Worst case scenario: Democrats have as many seats as they had in January.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

An Iranian Woman Was Sentenced to Death for Killing Her Alleged Rapist. Can Activists Save Her?

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

We Need to Talk: A Terrible Name for a Good Women’s Sports Show


Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.


How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

The U.S. Has a New Problem in Syria: The Moderate Rebels Feel Like We’ve Betrayed Them

Homeland Is Good Again! For Now, at Least.

Oct. 1 2014 11:48 AM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 1 2014 12:20 PM Don’t Expect Hong Kong’s Protests to Spread to the Mainland
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
The Eye
Oct. 1 2014 1:04 PM An Architectural Crusade Against the Tyranny of Straight Lines
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 2:08 PM We Need to Talk: Terrible Name, Good Show
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Oct. 1 2014 1:53 PM Slate Superfest East How to get your tickets before anyone else.
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 2:24 PM The New Interstellar Trailer Is the Most Exciting Yet
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 2:26 PM The Apple Graveyard Leave a flower for a dead Apple product.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 1 2014 12:01 PM Rocky Snow
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.