Former Senator Scott Brown kicked off the spring campaign in high-minded fashion yesterday with a swipe at Democratic candidate Ed Markey’s supposed lack of residence in Massachusetts. He did not accuse Markey of living on a Native American reservation and for that we can be grateful. But what does this opening salvo of silliness tell us about the campaign to come?
Let’s not read too much into this because Democrats and Republicans will serve up a steady diet of indigestible froth in the months to come. But Brown’s move may signal that, as in the 2012 campaign, much of his campaign will be about Trivial Pursuits. Perhaps there will be more half-court basketball shots or he will renew his attack on the Whole Foods grocery chain for its policy of selling only sustainable fish.
In 2011, Brown ran on a cause: opposition to the signature policy of the Obama administration, Obamacare, at a time when the economy was poor and the Democrats were perceived as failing to work on jobs. In 2012, even as an incumbent, he lacked any real cause and was swamped in a Democratic year. In 2013 he is going to need to take a hard policy stand or two, a problem in this unfriendly (for Republicans) territory.
The Democrats responded in the fashion that has often compelled me to counsel that when the words “a spokesperson for” appear in an article, skip over that part. Nonetheless I did see that a spokesperson for Congressman Markey defended his residency and said “He is proud to come from and represent the values of the people of Malden.” I never know what that means though. What are the values of the people of Malden? Are they different from those of people in other cities and towns?
Also, Malden Mayor Gary Christenson issued a statement that said of Markey “When he’s not racking up legislative accomplishments, Ed can be found at the YMCA shooting hoops . . .”
No way he posts up Downtown Scotty Brown.