Or so argues The New Republic's Noreen Malone:
Ayotte might have vaguely mavericky biodata for a Republican senator—when was the last time the party had a pro-life but mostly moderate New England mom to boast of?-- but she’s a footsoldier versed in talking points. This boringness is her true trump card, and the secret thus far to her national political success.
She is the anti-Palin, perfect for a party still shellshocked by its grand experiment with charisma devoid of experience and not yet entirely chastened by its less-grand experiment with experience devoid of charisma. Ayotte is not going to mess up. She will hit her marks, even if she doesn’t inspire. She has carefully moved her positions rightward in order to move up in the national GOP. She is a Romney type in Palin clothing.
Malone titled her piece, "A Romney in Palin Clothing", and Malone might be right that, temperamentally, Ayotte is far more similar to Romney than Palin, but she's also far more conservative than Romney.
The National Journal's scorecard pegged Ayotte as considerably more conservative than Rob Portman and slightly more conservative than John Thune. Overall, she was ranked the 17th most conservative Senator, and the Club for Growth scored her as the 8th most conservative.
Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, and Old-School Romney, she is not.