The political landscape of the Republican Party is ever shifting as an increasing number of strong and powerful women emerge into leadership roles. Leading the pack is U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, who topped Newsmax magazine's list of the 25 Influential Women of the GOP
for the August cover story.
Ayotte served as New Hampshire's first-ever female attorney general from 2004 to 2009 before pursing a senate seat. An outspoken advocate for the right to bear arms, Ayotte was the subject of a smear campaign brought on by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who shelled out nearly $2 million in attack ads on behalf of his Mayors Against Illegal Guns group.
But it all backfired, with at least one mayor resigning from the group in protest.
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"You know you’re doing something right when you have the left coming after you with full force and vigor," GOP political-law expert Cleta Mitchell told Newsmax. "She has a very bright future."
Coming in at No. 2 on the list of Newsmax's Top 25 Influential Women is former Alaskan governor and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. After a GOP loss in the 2008 election, Palin didn’t falter and quickly reinvented herself as a best-selling author, Fox News commentator, and speaker.
Also ranking high is former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who took the No. 4 spot. Although somewhat socially moderate — she once described herself as "mildly pro-choice" — political analysts predict that Rice could be a strong force if she ever decides to leave the faculty of Stanford University and run on a national ticket.
Other women in the GOP 25, in addition to those mentioned, are New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez; Sen. Susan Collins of Maine; Washington state Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers; political-law attorney Cleta Mitchell; Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen; president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard Meg Whitman; author and commentator Peggy Noonan; former Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao; South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley; Tennessee Rep. Diane Black; former Deputy Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Liz Cheney; Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin; Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer; business executive Carly Fiorina; GOP strategist Ana Navarro; Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser; "The View" former co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck; former RNC Deputy Chairwoman Maria Cino; political consultant Mary Matalin; and commentators Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, and Laura Ingraham.
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