Last night, Scott Brown was a guest of CNN's Piers Morgan. I can't stand Piers Morgan, it's ridiculous that he fills the time slot formerly occupied by Larry King. But with Senator Brown on the show last night, I bit the bullet and watched it.
I remember meeting Scott Brown when he was running for Senator in the Massachusetts special election to fill the seat vacated by the late Ted Kennedy. He was a guest on a radio talk show I was producing on the night of a debate amongst Democrats vying for that seat. It was a foregone conclusion that the Democratic primary was the real race, and Brown was just waiting to see who he would lose to. This is Massachusetts, after all.
Brown was early for the show that night, and shot the breeze with me in the control room for a few minutes before the host arrived. My initial impressions were that he was as smooth as a car salesman, but came off as a lot more trustworthy. I'm not saying I trusted him, or any politician, but I could definitely see why people did.
I remember posting on Facebook that night: "What if Scott Brown wins?". My starkly Democratic family and friends thought it was hilarious. How could a Republican win Teddy Kennedy's seat?
And that was the fatal flaw in the Democrats' mindset in this state. It was a foregone conclusion that the seat was their's. The race was a formality, the swearing in would be a coronation.
But Brown managed to tap into the deep frustrations of everyday people here in Massachusetts. Sure, we've historically been a near exclusively Democratic state, but to everyday people the boy's club of local politicians was nothing but a cesspool of corruption and arrogance.
Brown's challenger that year was Attorney General Martha Coakley. Brown went to Dunkin' Donuts all across the state in his truck, and talked to people as they drank their morning coffees before heading to work. Coakley refused to go outside and shake anyone's hand. It showed the attitude of the party, that they were entitled to this seat, and there was no way a Republican could win in Massachusetts. Martha Coakley, and the party as a whole, felt like they didn't even have to run. So why should they?
But Brown did win. And he won on a platform of doing what's right for the state and the country, ignoring party lines and labels. I don't know how much of that is complete bullshit, but it's an image he's retained as he finished out Ted Kennedy's term. The Democrats swear that they won't repeat their failures of the last election, but all the polls show Senator Brown retaining the support network he's already built.
Piers Morgan last night asked Senator Brown if he would be running for President in future contests. Brown didn't say no, but simply reiterated that right now he's running for President and directed supporters to his website. Morgan asked brown all sorts of questions, but Brown would only talk about the economy, jobs, and the national debt. He wasn't avoiding other issues, but merely said that the economic woes of this country or of historic proportions, and that everything else is a peripheral distraction. I'm paraphrasing, but that was the gist of it.
He was not shy about his support for Mitt Romney, saying the likability and resonance of social issues surrounding the Rick Santorum campaign don't matter. He kept reiterating that the most trying issue of our day is the fiscal mess we are in, and we don't need a President he who has charm and gravitas, but rather someone who can balance the books. Piers Morgan kept trying to steer the conversation to all the peripheral issues, but Senator Brown wouldn't bite.
Scott Brown's a politician, so by default I think he's a lying, backstabbing piece of shit. But he's got support, and he's got the image. And he's got the voting record. He reminded us a number of times last night that he sponsored the bill that will ban insider trading among members of Congress. That's a damned good idea, I just wonder why it took a 60 Minutes piece to get anyone to do anything about it.
Will this guy get me to change my idea about voting in time for the 2016 race? I doubt it. Will he run? I think so. Will he win? I have no idea. But if he does, I hope he proves me wrong about my blanket statements regarding people in Washington. But I won't hold my breath.