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“Third Time’s The Charm?”: New Hampshire Says ‘No’ To Interloper Scott Brown

In New Hampshire, the Massachusetts invasion has been staved off—for now.

Incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen has been declared the victor in the closely-fought race against Scott Brown, the former Massachusetts senator who slid across the border to the state where he keeps a family vacation home, declaring residency and announcing his candidacy in one fell swoop.

Brown had achieved national fame in 2009 when he crisscrossed Massachusetts in his pickup truck, going on to defeat attorney general Martha Coakley in a special election for the Senate seat formerly held by the late Ted Kennedy. That race presaged the Tea Party wave that was to come in 2010. Brown’s victory was short-lived however; in 2012, he was defeated by liberal favorite Elizabeth Warren.

Brown was a favorite of Wall Street and of moderate Republicans cheered by the possibility that a type of Rockefeller Republicanism was returning to the northeast. In the run-up to the midterms, he publicly flirted with running for president, before eventually being lured into the Senate race in neighboring New Hampshire.

It was a long shot to say the least. New Hampshire remains one of the most conservative states in the Northeast, with Republicans regularly competing in the presidential elections, but it is also fiercely independent, and resentful of the encroachment of the Boston suburbs.

Shaheen often played up her local roots. Brown did himself no favors when, in the campaign’s final debate, he seemed to flub a question about basic Granite State geography, calling Sullivan County north of Concord, when it is in fact west of Concord. The Shaheen campaign pounced, spending part of the next day hitting the hustings in Sullivan County.

“The key is that Brown said what he—and probably a lot of other people—think,” wrote a columnist for the Boston Globe. “That ‘anyplace past Concord’ faces the exact same set of issues.”

Brown tried to counter this narrative by focusing on national issues, describing a nation and hence a state that was left insecure and unstable thanks to President Obama’s leadership, and of course, by Shaheen’s support of that leadership. He combined a number of crises facing the president, including the threats of Ebola and ISIS, mismanagement in the Secret Service and child migrants coming over the border, to argue for a change in direction.

Those attacks though fell flat among charges that Brown was an interloper who would vote to limit the reproductive choices of women in the U.S. Senate.

Things took an especially awkward turn for Brown in the race’s final hours, when the former senator was asked by an MSNBC reporter if he planned to move back to Massachusetts if he lost.

Brown did not answer.

 

By: David Freedlander, The Daily Beast, November 4, 2014

November 5, 2014 Posted by | New Hampshire, Politics, Scott Brown | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Hoping No One Would Notice”: Scott Brown Tries To Fake His Way Through A Debate

About 20 years ago, there was a great episode of “Cheers,” featuring a city councilman who goes to the bar to ask voters for support. “Kevin Fogarty, City Council. I hope I have your vote on election day,” he says. Frasier Crane asks, “And why exactly should I vote for you, Mr. Fogarty?”

The councilman replies, “Well, because I’m a hard worker, and I take a stand.” Crane adds, “On what, exactly?” “The issues of the day,” Fogarty replies. “Which are?” Crane asks. “The things that concern you and your family – the most,” the councilman concludes.

The folks in the bar thought this was a great answer, failing to notice that the candidate clearly had nothing of substance to say, and was simply faking his way past the questions, hoping no one would notice.

The “Cheers” episode came to mind last night watching Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) debate former Sen. Scott Brown (R) in New Hampshire. At one point, for example. moderator Chuck Todd asked about climate change – Brown believes some of the crisis is “natural” – and pressed the candidates on how best to reduce carbon emissions.

“I’m not going to talk about whether we’re going to do something in the future,” Brown replied, apparently confused about the purpose of a political campaign.

When Todd asked the Republican to explain the metrics he’d use to determine whether the U.S./Mexico border is secure, Brown replied, “You know it’s secure when people don’t come across it.”

Remember, border security is one of the issues Brown claims to care the most about.

All of which led the challenger to make a striking claim.

Scott Brown’s strategy in his New Hampshire Senate campaign has focused on claims that securing the border would prevent Islamic State militants from crossing into the United States. But when asked on Tuesday for evidence, Brown denied he ever made such statements.

“With respect, I did not say that – what I have said is ISIS is real,” Brown, a Republican, said during the first televised debate of the New Hampshire Senate race…. “Is there a possibility?” he added. “It’s been raised that there are opportunities for people to come through that border. What are their intentions, I’m not sure, but they have made it very clear that they want to plant a flag in the White House.”

He added, “I’m not fear mongering.”

In reality, Brown’s denials about his claims are plainly incorrect. It was literally just last week that the Massachusetts Republican told voters, “[W]e have a border that’s so porous that anyone can walk across it. I think it’s naive to think that people aren’t going to be walking through here who have those types of diseases and/or other types of intent, criminal or terrorist. And yet we do nothing to secure our border.”

His claims were wrong on the substance, and for him to deny making these comments only adds insult to injury.

Sabrina Siddiqui added, “Brown has suggested on multiple occasions that ISIS terrorists could cross the southern U.S. border. Just last month, Brown raised the theory during an interview with Fox News.”

As for the “Cheers” episode, it’s probably worth noting that Kevin Fogarty ended up losing his election.

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, October 22, 2014

October 23, 2014 Posted by | ISIS, Republicans, Scott Brown | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Gosh, Can You Imagine?”: Scott Brown Sees Mitt Romney As An Ebola Repellent

Ordinarily, candidates for major public offices get better as campaigns progress. The improvements tend to be organic – politicians do more interviews, make more appearances, deliver more speeches, and answer more questions, and the process hones their skills. Practice makes perfect.

Scott Brown, however, is one of those rare candidates who defies the odds. As the only politician in the country who’s run in three separate U.S. Senate campaigns in four years, one might assume he’d be the sharpest and most pitch-perfect candidate in America.

And yet, the Republican is arguably getting worse. Brown has gone from suggesting terrorists will strike by sneaking through Mexico with Ebola to arguing that Mitt Romney could stop Ebola with his amazing Romney-esque talents.

Scott Brown told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade Friday that Ebola wouldn’t be a problem for America if Mitt Romney had won in 2012.

“Gosh can you imagine if Mitt was the president right now?” Brown said. “He was right on Russia, he was right on Obamacare, he was right on the economy. And I guarantee you we would not be worrying about Ebola right now and, you know, worrying about our foreign policy screw ups.”

Clearly, all of our assumptions about candidates getting better with practice need to be revised. Brown’s on-air comments may position him to lead the Mitt Romney Fan Club in whichever state Brown ends up living in next, but they’re not the words of a sensible political observer.

The pitch itself defies rational thought. Even putting aside the substantive inanity, Brown isn’t supposed to be running out playing the role of Romney surrogate, making the case for the failed candidate’s alleged greatness; Brown is ostensibly running his own campaign – in a state Romney lost.

But even putting that aside, Romney wasn’t right about Russia. It’s hard to say whether Romney was “right on Obamacare” given that Romney created the blueprint for the Affordable Care Act before deciding he no longer liked his successful accomplishment. We know with certainty, however, that Romney wasn’t “right on the economy.”

As for the notion that Romney could have stopped Ebola, I’d love hear more about the former one-term governor’s expertise in infectious diseases.

It seemed the politicization of Ebola couldn’t get more ridiculous. Scott Brown found a way.

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, October 20, 2014

October 21, 2014 Posted by | Ebola, Mitt Romney, Scott Brown | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Learning From History”: What Can Brown Do For You? (Not A Damn Thing!)

In New Hampshire, Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen is hitting Republican opponent and Massachusetts reject Scott Brown hard on his backward energy policies:

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is turning the focus to energy this week. Shaheen’s campaign today released a report highlighting votes her Republican opponent, Scott Brown, has taken on energy policy that she says will take New Hampshire in the wrong direction. And tomorrow, the state Democratic Party will host Massachusetts lawmakers and a New Hampshire energy expert to discuss Brown’s energy record…

While energy hasn’t been a central issue to the campaign thus far, both candidates have outlined positions on the topic.

At an energy forum in Concord last month, Brown touted an “all of the above” approach that includes support for nuclear, wind, solar, biomass and geothermal. He has continually called for the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, a proposed oil pipeline that would run from Canada to the U.S.

Shaheen shouldn’t fail to point out that Brown’s views on energy are obviously influenced by one of the darkest forces in American politics:

Karl Rove is also lusting after a Brown win in the Granite State. If New Hamsphire voters judge candidates by the company they keep, they will judge Brown as harshly as Keith Olbermann did four years ago.

Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I hope that New Hampshire voters have learned from history.

 

By: D. R. Tucker, Washington Monthly Political Animal, October 19, 2014

October 20, 2014 Posted by | Energy, Politics, Scott Brown | , , , , | Leave a comment

“It’s Not My Job”: Scott Brown, “I Am Not Going To Create One Job”

Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), on the campaign trail in New Hampshire, appeared on a local radio show this week and caused a bit of a stir. Specifically, he suggested his supporters in neighboring states should come to the Granite State, take advantage of same-day registration, and vote for him, in effect calling for voter fraud on a massive scale.

The problem, of course, was that Brown was kidding. If you listen to the audio, it seems he probably wasn’t serious about the scheme, though given his personal circumstances, this is an odd thing for Brown to joke about.

But a day later, the former senator was entirely serious when he made these comments to a group of voters:

“Here’s the thing. People say, ‘What are you going to do to create jobs?’ I am not going to create one job, it is not my job to create jobs. It’s yours. My job is to make sure that government stays out of your way so that you can actually grow and expand. Obamacare’s a great example. The number one job inhibitor right now is Obamacare…. We have to repeal it.”

As is too often the case, Brown seems a little confused about public policy. On health care, there’s literally nothing to suggest the Affordable Care Act is undermining job growth, just as there’s literally nothing to suggest unemployment will improve if Scott Brown takes health care benefits away from millions of Americans. The very idea is bizarre.

But that, of course, is secondary to the Republican’s boast that he is “not going to create one job.” This is so misguided, it’s the kind of comment that’s likely to linger for a while.

Note, for example, Brown is simply wrong on the basics of economic policy. The public sector creates jobs all the time. How a former U.S. senator can fail to understand this is a bit of a mystery.

Also, when he was in Massachusetts, Brown used to say that he could, in fact, create jobs through government policymaking. What caused the former GOP lawmaker to change his mind when he changed states? Why did he think he could create jobs in Massachusetts, but not in New Hampshire?

For that matter, just as a matter of rudimentary political competence, what kind of candidate tells voters, “I am not going to create one job”?

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, September 4, 2014

September 5, 2014 Posted by | Economic Policy, Jobs, Scott Brown | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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