WASHINGTON (CNN) – National Democrats wasted no time in accusing Sarah Palin of abandoning her state after the Alaska governor revealed Friday that she was resigning from office.
Five days later and 4,600 miles away, the New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman is leveling the same charge against New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, who announced Tuesday she would soon leave office to explore a Senate bid in 2010.
New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley's sharp criticism of Ayotte is not surprising – he is trying to discredit, perhaps, the strongest candidate the Republican Party could field in this open seat race next year. But what is interesting is that Buckley compared Ayotte to Palin.
"We're seeing a national trend where Republicans have abandoned their responsibilities to their constituents in favor of political gain," Buckley wrote Tuesday in a fundraising message sent to the state party's e-mail list. "From Alaska to New Hampshire, Republicans just can't seem to honor their commitment to the public. Not unlike Sarah Palin, Kelly Ayotte has broken her promise to the people she represents and put politics before public service."
While Republicans debate what role Palin might have in the party, some Democrats believe that she is a political liability for the GOP. And a top Democratic operative, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that going forward Democrats "won't be shy in tying Sarah Palin to other Republican candidates where it makes sense."