Today’s local dailies have his ‘n’ his takes on the peripatetic Scott Brown (R-Elsewhere).
In most states, such an obviously opportunistic move would present an obstacle to any kind of political future. But Massachusetts and New Hampshire are paired in an interesting way. A rejection of Massachusetts-style taxation and intrusive government is an important part of the New Hampshire narrative. Alas, so too is a deep suspicion of artifice or pretense.
The qualities that made Brown appealing to Massachusetts voters — affability and a middle-of-the-road approach to governing — will play as well, or perhaps even better, in New Hampshire. But the quality that ultimately led to his defeat in 2012 — the lack of a substantial agenda, leading to concerns about the seriousness with which he engages national problems — may be even more brutally exposed in New Hampshire.
Not to mention he’s a carpetbagging moderate who’s soft on guns rights.
The Boston Herald’s Joe Battenfeld says Brown will have to scramble in more ways than one:
There are certain things you have to do in the Granite State, like being subjected to direct and sometimes uncomfortable questions from voters. No dodging the media glare, either. Giving a speech, shaking some hands and fleeing to the safety of the pickup truck won’t cut it.
• Don’t pronounce Berlin like the city in Germany. The locals won’t like that very much.
• Don’t say that you’re looking forward to seeing the Old Man of the Mountain. It’s not there anymore . . .
• And please don’t try to pretend you love guns and like to hunt “varmints.”
Then again, early indications are Brown will have lots of help if he is interested in running. From Politico’s Morning Score:
National Republicans are encouraging Brown to run, and see him as the party’s only chance to make that race competitive. Now, as James Hohmann reports, the GOP group Ending Spending is dropping $100,000 on a new ad hitting [Democratic Sen. Jeanne] Shaheen and running online ads to draft Brown (http://politi.co/199Cl8r).
Here’s the website. And here’s the TV spot hitting Shaheen with the Obamacare stick (kicker: “So next November, if you like your Senator, you can keep her. If you don’t, you know what to do . . . “):
Of course, first Scott Brown needs to decide what to do.