Democrats for Brown

Mayor Menino at the DNCMy colleague Mo Cunningham noted Senator Brown’s resourcefulness, taking a tour of Eastie with Trav the same day his opponent was scheduled to deliver her remarks to the Democratic National Convention.  The same Convention where Mayor Menino spoke and opted not to make an endorsement of the Democratic nominee.  What a whirlwind of a week.

The murmuring among the delegates at the Convention is that the Mayor will, in fact, endorse Warren.  That’s my suspicion as well though his caginess is certainly starting to grate his fellow Democrats.  A well-regarded Democrat told me in Charlotte, as Menino was casually chatting with the press, that if the Mayor said anything else nice about Brown, she’d be sick.  But Menino likely cares not at all.

The Mayor enjoys being Mayor and doesn’t harbor ambitions to the Corner Office or any other higher position (he’d view them as lesser positions) so he is not likely to be concerned by ruffling the feathers of his fellow partisans.  He seems perfectly content to wait until the penultimate moment to make his choice.  And why not?  He’d much rather have both Brown and Warren checking in with him regularly to see if they can cut his grab him a sandwich at Sam La Grassa’s or maybe grease the wheels on his bike.

The question is not so much the endorsement but muscle.  The Mayor can deliver Cushman’s bread but will he?  I spoke with some Democrats in Charlotte who insist that they Mayor will not make a tepid endorsement, that he will go all in.  We shall see.

It’s a win-win for Menino.  If he puts the muscle behind Warren, she owes him.  If he endorses Warren and she loses, Brown will owe him for holding off the endorsement for so long.  It’s good the be the Mayah.

The Conventions help Warren much more than they help Brown.  I wrote in the Huffington Post yesterday that the Republican Convention represents a nearly perfect symbol for what ails the party in Massachusetts and Brown needed to distance himself from it and try to keep any bounce Warren might receive from Charlotte to a minimum.

Credit Brown for his timing.

As his challenger made her maiden trip to a Convention, he’s touring Eastie with Travaglini.  Then the day after the Democratic confab ends, he announces an endorsement from a sitting elected Democrat, state representative Chris Fallon .  After Flynn’s endorsement this past spring, I noted that  “Flynn is only a harbinger if he still speaks for enough Reagan Democrats to keep Brown competitive.  Add sitting mayors or three willing to endorse Brown, then ‘disaster whispered here.'”

Fallon isn’t a Democrat of Menino stature (no one is, really) but the closeness of the race thus far means that we may be looking at a precinct by precinct slugfest.  Warren noted in the Herald today that the race will “not be about endorsements.”  As our colleague Professor Duquette has claimed, she needs the race to be about national issues and not local ones, Brown’s personality, or what a few local Democrats think.

But Democrats for Brown was ultimately meaningless if he couldn’t convince current elected officials to line up behind him.  Now that he has, he’ll need to keep up momentum.

Warren can lose some Democrats and still safely win.  Brown needs the heft of those who can deliver Cushman’s bread.

About Peter Ubertaccio

Peter Ubertaccio is the Director of Joseph Martin Institute for Law & Society at Stonehill College in Easton and Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science & International Studies. His work focuses on political parties, marketing and institutions. He received his Ph.D. in Politics from Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. Professor Ubertaccio and his family live on Cape Cod where he is on the Board of Directors of the OpenCape Corporation and the Sandwich Economic Initiative Corporation.
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9 Responses to Democrats for Brown

  1. Neil says:

    In Charlotte, Mayor Menino criticized Scott Brown for failing to be with the people on issues like unemployment insurance and jobs bills during the worst recession since the great depression.

    When I read that in the Dorchester Reporter, I knew Scott Brown would not be getting Mayor Menino’s endorsement. I’m surprised you missed it. It seems pivotal to your analysis.

    Scott Brown risks being seen as cavalier. His posture is that he has nothing to worry about. I don’t think that plays well for a senator who took the Republican line on votes to help working people during a recession, especially since the centerpiece of the Republican party’s strategy is obstruction …again, during a great recession with high unemployment.

  2. Andrew says:

    Ray Flynn sits on the board of Mitt Romney’s Catholic Outreach group… Just in case those “Reagan democrats” wanted some actual facts about the supporters Brown has….

    Warren is the only one to get an endorsement from and actual independent- Lowell Mayor Pat Murphy. Now you can pretend ScottBrown is independent, you obviously buy into his truck commercials but demanding that Warren stop “talking, speaking, or commenting” about his votes wont work. We got debates coming up and Brown is notoriously whiny when he’s on the defense… unfortunately Coakley never had him on the defense .

    Warren is tried and tested, she’d ran hearings in DC and pressed top White house brass for serious answers (If Geithener live in MA he’d vote for Brown too). She’s going to wipe the floor with Brown in the debates, while he’s still talking about her families heritage…

  3. Laura Brown says:

    What I want to know is how all of the political scientists failed to identify strategic Republican obstruction, and Scott brown’s essential role in it, as a factor in the re-election of Scott Brown:

    Scott Brown was the Key to Republican Obstruction

    Republican strategy since January 2010 is to use obstruction to cause President Obama to fail, even if that failure comes at a great cost to the American people.

    The US Senate is where obstruction is most effectively enabled by virtue of the filibuster rule that allows a minority of 41 senators to halt progress. And Scott’s election in January 2010 made him the 41st Republican in the US Senate. At the time, Republican Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell dubbed Scott Brown “41”. Clearly he saw the political significance of Scott’s triumph as he proudly announced that his and Republicans’ #1 goal is to make President Obama a one term president. Scott’s election enabled this partisan obstruction, as long as Scott brown played along.

  4. Donna Halper says:

    I was very disturbed by Scott “I’m an independent Republican” Brown voting to thwart the DISCLOSE Act. His “independence” evidently doesn’t include wanting citizens to know the names of the big billionaire donors who are trying to buy the election for the GOP. His office told me he believes the Act is just “political theater” to help Democrats. Umm, hiding your donors isn’t good for democracy no matter which party you are in.

    • Laura Brown says:

      When Scott Brown blames the opposition for his decisions, you can bet he’s not telling you he actual reasons.

      I call it the Scott Brown two-step and he does it every time he’s asked to explain something he doesn’t want to explain.

      He deflects by accusing his opponent of something, which is frequently on a different topic altogether. Watch for it. It wont take long.

      • Christie Mayo says:

        Sounds like Karl Rove is couching Scott on his favorite techniques: throw mud on your opponent’s strengths or accuse the opponent of the candidate’s weaknesses.

        • Laura Brown says:

          It’s funny you mention that. Scott Brown’s campaign manager is Jim Barnett who is a Karl Rove protege Barnettt worked for Rove in the White House 2001-2002.

          Later, detestable dirty tricks got him kicked out of VT state politics where honorable disagreement is the standard of behaviour.

          I’m pretty sure he’s the brainchild behind the bogus affirmative action accusations.

  5. Kevin says:

    Well, one good thing coming out of this contest, is that we’re finally unmasking all of the fake “Democrats” in Massachusetts.

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