Tidings of comfort & joy from WBUR

I was gently chided by a reader after my last post on the upcoming special election where I suggested that Senator Brown might not be the odds on favorite.  This reader reminded me that despite his loss, Senator Brown remains enormously popular in the state with approval ratings the envy of most politicians.  WBUR confirmed this yesterday

What we have now is a good snapshot of our leading politicians. Brown remains well liked by his fellow citizens and if the election were held today in the absence of an actual campaign, he would win.

But the good polling news for Brown will surely be tempered by the sobering reality that the national Republican party will continue to drag down GOP candidates for federal office in Massachusetts.  That may change in the future and a more assertive New England Republicanism that challenges the national party can help but those efforts have been launched before with little success–recall Bill Weld getting the boot from a speaking engagement at the 1996 Republican Convention.

Despite this, Brown will surely be a formidable candidate because his popularity will clear the Republican field of serious challengers and help him put together a field organization and raise the money necessary to compete.  How his campaign chooses to confront the headwinds from DC will be the most interesting question of the cycle.

Michael Graham of 96.9 makes the argument against a Brown Senate candidacy in a more colorful fashion.

But there is an alternative and it comes gift wrapped this holiday season from soon to be former state representative Stat Smith of Everett.   He is the latest Democrat to meet with the US Attorney and not at a Christmas cocktail party.  There is a larger issue there that Brown could make his own and given his popularity and ability to attract attention, amplify like no other Republican.

Many of the issues that hurt Brown in 2012 disappear if he puts together a team of Republican reformers to take on the Democrats in the 2014 statewide races.  A Brown candidacy leading a team that might include the likes of Dan Winslow, Mary Connaughton, Randy Hunt, Charlie Baker all focused  like a laser on cleaning up the culture of Beacon Hill won’t trip the wire of ultra conservative politics that dominates the GOP in Washington and hurts their Massachusetts wing.

This doesn’t guarantee success–see 2010, Massachusetts Republican failures statewide.  But a two-year effort at party building headed by Scott Brown and running with a team of folks known for their innovative public policy ideas is more likely in my mind to be successful in the short-term while helping the party put together the farm team necessary for future competition.

That’s something only a challenger with a long-term view can do, not an incumbent Senator imploring people to vote the person not the party.

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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4 Responses to Tidings of comfort & joy from WBUR

  1. Matt S says:

    I’m afraid I just don’t see Brown as that much of a team player. I agree, he could be more dangerous if he passes on the special and runs in 2014 (although he again can be smacked with the “GOP-in-majority” fears). Brown is fundamentally about himself. I have heard that he was like that in the legislature and more or less in the Senate, too. I’ll protect my sources, but that STOCK Act, lots of people with whom he collaborated on that bill were very miffed at how he made that all about him even as the others shared credit with him. I think you also make an indirect point as well, that short-term Brown does not have the time to build that clean-house case that he could by 2014. I don’t know that it will be any more successful though because of a dearth of name recognition. While Mitt Romney came out of nowhere, most successful GOP statewide electeds recently were somebody. Weld, we forget, investigated Kevin White, when the former was US Attorney. Cellucci (sp?) was LT.

  2. Gerald N. Unger says:

    It is still unfathomable that Elizabeth Warren won in Massachusetts. The issues that were used against Scott Brown were nothing but fiction. The Commonwealth is home to more Ivy League Colleges that any other state, the fact that the intelligentsia would not examine the facts, such as the opinion in Roe v. Wade was written by a Republican Jurist, appointed by Nixon; the case Warren cited as sticking up for the “middle class,” if read was for the benefit of Travelers Insurance; the equal pay for woman issue ignored that fact that there are two laws on the books that already guarantee equal pay for woman, the bill Scott Brown voted against was rip with pork barrel spending. Not to mention that Ms Warren frequently lied, is an unlicensed attorney . . . and the list goes on and on.

    Every time I try and reconcile Ms Warren’s win, I am reminded of a quote from Poor
    Richard’s Almanac, 1751 “He that is conscious of A Stink in his Breeches, is jealous of every Wrinkle in another’s Nose.” Happy Holiday

  3. Carolyn Gritter says:

    Binders of women will not vote for Scott Brown. Where to begin? On June 5, 2012, the Paycheck Fairness Act fell short of 60 votes to override a filibuster and go to the Senate floor for debate. Brown voted against it, telling Massachusetts voters on the campaign trail that the bill was a “jobs killer.” Huh? Business profitability depends on the cheap labor of women? Now we learn that the Commonwealth’s gender disparity in pay is among the highest in the country. Brown voted the Republican party line on the Blunt Amendment. Right out of the gate, Hobby Lobby, the Oklahoma City-based retail chain, challenged Obamacare in federal court, claiming a faith-based objection to covering the cost of the morning after pill in its health insurance plan. The court ruled that Hobby Lobby couldn’t cherry pick its coverage options. If Brown runs, he’ll be the only candidate associated with a body count. Because with Brown the only good regulation is no regulation, he signed on to a letter urging the FDA not to stiffen its regulations on pharmacies like New England Compounding Center. At the time of the writing, NECC was not in compliance with Mass. law and had a long history of trouble with the FDA. Six weeks later, Brown attended a fundraiser at the home of the president of NECC and his wife where he made a bundle. Later on the campaign trail, a WCVB reporter asked him whether or not he knew Lisa Cadden at whose table he sat at that fundraiser. He said, “It doesn’t ring a bell.” People died, hundreds are sick, and Brown contributors may be indicted. It’s likely that NECC and his lobbying for it will come up if he runs again. The ERA has been introduced in every Congress since it fell two states short of ratification in 1982. The current Senate version has 19 cosponsors, including Senator Kerry. The House version has 185 cosponsors, including every Massachusetts representative. Why is Brown, the self-professed fighter for women, the only member of the Mass. delegation not to cosponsor the ERA? Doesn’t he think that when the United States presses Iraq and Afghanistan to include women in their constitutions that it’s about time the United States did the same? The past election showed Mass. women that Brown is no nice guy, and he’s a Republican whose bipartisanship is baloney. Brown should go quietly away and resume his legal practice of real estate closings and drafting wills. Please!

  4. Debbie says:

    Well, since this section was never ceomentmd in, I may as well post my question/discussion here.I read the post According to the US Forest Service, chaparral is a mundane habitat that hampers enjoyment . . . ? I really have to ask. In that one letter of yours to Mr Metz, you offered several quotes which are puzzling as to who actually wrote those text. Surely it wasn’t a Botanist or Biologist was it ? The tone sounded more like some land development schemer came up with that drivel!Kevin

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