To The Daily Sun,
This is the first time I have written in support of a political figure, however, I feel compelled to do so now.
When Kelly Ayotte first announced her run for the U.S. Senate, I figured she was just another ambitious Attorney General trying to trade on her success and "move up" to Washington, D.C. Her performance in office has proven differently. She quickly earned respect for being smart, fair, diligent, thorough, and effective. When it comes to being truly bipartisan and working with anyone to get things done, she has actually "walked the walk" as well as "talking the talk." She does what she says she will do and has represented us well.
In many different settings — political functions, "town meetings," public presentations and many other events, I have been able to observe the way she deals with people — all people, not just those in her party or who share her views or position. Sen. Ayotte asks probing questions, actually listens to the answers, is respectful and down-to-earth, and engages people directly and sincerely.
As an example, our American Legion Post asked her to present long overdue medals to one of our World War II veterans. She had her staff do the research with the Army to verify the awards, obtained the actual medals and ribbons and then came personally to our post to present them, arranging for an Army lieutenant-colonel on active duty to accompany her and making it a truly classy, impressive and touching ceremony. She did not just arrive in a whirlwind, shake a few hands, smile and leave in a hurry, as many politicians do. She spent personal time with our honoree and his family and with many others present and had obviously planned her schedule so she could spend some quality time with us.
As an "old soldier" with 34 years' service in many places around the world, I believe national security and a strong military capability must be our No. 1 priority as a nation. Without that, nothing else makes a difference. Kelly Ayotte, although a "freshman" senator, earned enough respect that she was selected to serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee, is chair of the Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support and was also appointed to the Subcommittees on Seapower and on Emerging Threats. She also serves on the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, the Budget Committee and the Commerce Committee.
Thus she has earned positions on the committees most influential in maintaining and strengthening our national security and in getting a handle on the serious budget and debt challenges we face. It is also very clear to me that she understands there is much waste and duplication in the Dept. of Defense and simply dumping more money into the DOD does not guarantee an improved readiness posture. Changes are needed. She gets that and now is in a position to do something about it.
From what I have observed and read, her actions and performance on these committees have greatly benefited our state and nation. She has earned and deserves a chance to continue that effectiveness and to carry through on initiatives she has instituted. Although I am not a political activist by any means, I intend to work to secure her re-election. She is worthy of our trust.
Woodbury P. Fogg
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired)
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