Scott Brown on Ed Markey’s Darlin’ Hometown

Scott BrownEd_Markey,_Official_Portrait,_112th_Congress_2Former 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.


About Maurice T. Cunningham

Maurice T. Cunningham is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. He teaches courses in American government including Massachusetts Politics, The American Presidency, Catholics in Political Life, The Political Thought of Abraham Lincoln, American Political Thought, and Public Policy. His book Maximization, Whatever the Cost: Race, Redistricting and the Department of Justice examines the role of the DOJ in requiring states to maximize minority voting districts in the Nineties. He has published articles dealing with the role of the Catholic Church in Massachusetts politics and on party politics in the state. His research interests focus upon the changing political culture of Massachusetts.
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4 Responses to Scott Brown on Ed Markey’s Darlin’ Hometown

  1. n says:

    Brown’s move may signal that much of his campaign will be about Trivial Pursuits; half-court basketball shots; attack Whole Foods grocery chain.

  2. Pingback: Headlines for Friday, January 4, 2013 » MASSterList

  3. Marlene Ross says:

    As soon as I read that Scott Brown had raised the question of Ed Markey’s residence, my first reaction was “Oh, here we go again!”. If Scott Brown has nothing more than this to try to bolster himself into the league of running against Ed Markey, then I’d say Scott Brown should find something else to do. Brown may well want his senate seat back, but he just doesn’t have the all-around substance of an Ed Markey, certainly that’s what this recent statement of his demonstrates. No thanks to Scott Brown; my choice is Ed Markey. And, please, let’s not have any more juvenile debates; let’s get to the substance as we move ahead to find our new senator. With many thanks to John Kerry for his years of service, we look forward to hearing more from you in your new role, and toward finding a replacement for your senate seat by one that doesn’t fabricate along the road to getting there.

  4. Maurice T. Cunningham says:

    Marlene, thanks for the comment. I try to keep in mind that all campaigns are not the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Still, they needn’t be about trivia either, especially in such ideologically contested times. Senator Brown stressed his local ties and his personal popularity against Elizabeth Warren and it wasn’t enough. Many of the policy positions of his national party are unpopular here and that presents real challenges to him.

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