Kevin Landrigan: NY, DC speeches fuel more Hassan 2016 Senate talk
CONCORD - When Governor Maggie Hassan steps foot to speak out of New Hampshire, her enemies take notice.
Today it's the influential Manhattan Club in New York AT for lunch and tonight a panel with Emily's List, the powerful abortion rights fund-raising machine.
Hassan critics say she looks more like a 2016 candidate for US Senate.
I think the biggest concern most people have is Gov. Hassan appears more focused on her next election and not worried about the job the voters of New Hampshire gave her,'' said Greg Moore, state director of Americans for Prosperity.
Democratic chair Raymond Buckley says Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte's team is panic stricken and obsessed with Hassan.
"The Republicans understand that Kelly Ayotte doesn't have a record to stand on,'' Buckley said. "She doesn't have any real accomplishments to date in the Senate.''
Hassan's New York speech mixed New Hampshire bipartisanship with national themes like this one on of the middle class with costs outstripping their take-home pay.
They do all the right things; yet they are finding that the cost of the essential components of a thriving middle class life - college tuition, health care, owning a home - is growing faster than their paychecks,'' Hassan said.
On a personal note, Hassan speaks openly about the struggles she and husband, Tom, had for care of their eldest child, Ben, who overcomes physical disabilities.
"But early on, it didn't take Tom and me long to realize that if Ben was going to have the opportunities that all parents want for their children, we were going to need some help,'' Hassan said.
"We were lucky, because in the community where we lived in New Hampshire, we were able to find a network of support, including friends and families, but also healthcare professionals, early intervention specialists, a strong public school system, and educators and therapists who helped us learn how to help Ben.''
Fair or not, Hassan's itinerary will be scrutinized in fine detail over the next many months.
Until the governor makes known her 2016 plans likely this summer, every time she leaves the state she will be dogged with whether it's another sign she's running for the US Senate.