Sunday, March 16, 2014


Scott Brown has set up an exploratory committee in preparation for a Senate campaign in New Hampshire. Maureen Dowd would like you to believe that Brown's arm really had to be twisted by the GOP, and that he never would have considered a run if it weren't for President Obama's less-than-spectacular approval ratings and the administration's problems with the health care rollout:
This is what's really freaking out Democrats: They know that Brown, after making some real money working for Fox News since his loss to Elizabeth Warren two years ago, wouldn't even be getting into the race if the political environment weren't so toxic for Democrats.

Republicans have been white-hot for Brown to get in, and he finally pulled the trigger Friday, establishing an exploratory committee and asserting that "the Obamacare Democrats are on the wrong side" of a big political wave.
In fact, Brown's been laying the groundwork for this run for about a year. Here's a Politico article from last April:
Since losing his Senate seat in November, the Republican flirted with but then decided against running again in Massachusetts, signed up as a commentator for Fox News and landed a gig at a law firm with a lobbying practice. Now he's again looking at a possible run ... in New Hampshire.

Brown is serious enough that he's making at least five trips to the state in a one-month window, including last Saturday for a speech to a county GOP luncheon in Hanover and an appearance at the New Hampshire Young Republicans convention.

... Republicans who have spoken with Brown say he's eager to see what kind of reception he gets from activists.

"Nothing is off the table, and nothing is on the table," Brown said coyly on Fox recently...
Every story I've read from 2013 suggests that, yes, national party leaders were strenuously urging Brown to run, but Brown was doing everything you'd do if you were planning to run. Here's The Boston Globe in November:
The signs are mounting. Scott Brown travels almost weekly to New Hampshire. Last month he formed a political action committee there to raise funds; this week he attacked the state's Democratic senator on his favorite target: national health care.

Now national Republicans are pushing the former Massachusetts senator to declare his candidacy for the US Senate from New Hampshire. And they insist, despite mixed signals from Brown, that he is seriously weighing such a run.
Oh, and in December, Brown sold his house in Massachusetts and moved to New Hampshire, where he already had a vacation home. Does that suggest to you that he was a reluctant warrior until this month, when he looked at the playing field after Alex Sink's defeat in Florida and told all those Republicans who were tugging at his sleeve, "Yeah, OK, you win -- I'm in"? That's what it suggests to Maureen Dowd.

Sorry, Maureen -- you'd like to persuade us that Brown spent half his free time on the rubber-chicken circuit in a neighboring state for a year, and even sold his house, just because he wanted to be a tease. That makes no sense.


Victor said...

Jeanne Shaheen is an experience pol, who'll slice off Brown's nuts, and serve them back to him on a silver platter.

He'd have been better off moving to OK, and running for Coburn's spot.

aimai said...

I agree with Victor. But I'd also like to point out that Maureen Dowd really suffers from a pretty obvious form of DC myopia. She literally knows nothing about the politics she writes about. Everyone in MA and New Hampshire, the only two markets that matter, know that Scott Brown ran away from his own state (MA) because he thought there would be better pickings in NH. He isn't running for Governor of MA, which is in fact going to be up for grabs after Deval Patrick goes. If he were at all serious about politics that's where he would have gone and it might even have worked for him.

The Fox News gig was for money, sure, but also to keep his name afloat for the next round of political grifting. The fact that he passed up the Governor's race in order to carpetbag in NH is not only old news (as you say, Steve) but a transparently bad decision since NH hates more than anything to take Massachusetts' rejects.

flipyrwhig said...

Running to be senator representing a state in which you have a vacation home seems like spectacularly bad optics.

Also, if we were on the verge of a Republican wave, wouldn't the Republican candidates be hardworking loyal functionaries and other obscurities -- Republicans running as typical Republicans, not showboating "moderates" like Brown?

tony in san diego said...

Isn't that just what the Cheney woman did in Montana or Wyoming, or wherever the hell she thought she could bamboozle them?

Roger said...

Shouldn't Dowd be in a managed care facility by now?