Stakes Could Not Be Higher for Scott Brown as His Moment of Truth Approaches in NH

Friday, February 21, 2014

"There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.  Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.” 
       -Brutus, from “Julius Caesar,” by Wm. Shakespeare

If I were Scott Brown, I’d be sweating bullets right now.

Every day the pressure on him builds to make a decision on challenging Democratic U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, who’s up for re-election in November.

Theoretically, Brown can wait until just before the candidate filing deadline in June to decide.  Two factors will compel him to decide much sooner:

One, the Republican Party in New Hampshire can't wait indefinitely and will have to find someone else if he won't commit.  Coyness has a shelf life.

Two, he's cutting it close if he hopes to have a legitimate shot at winning Shaheen's, er, the People's Seat, up north.  Every day of added dithering means lost fundraising opportunities and less time for actual campaigning.  Successful Senate campaigns often begin a year in advance of an election.

Brown positioned himself to run late last year when he sold his house in Wrentham, established residency at what had been his family’s vacation home in Rye, New Hampshire, and set up a political action committee in the state. Those moves created self-renewing waves of speculation on his political future, which have kept him in the news and on the minds of New Hampshire voters ever since.

Republican hearts are galloping at the thought of a Brown candidacy, especially after a recent poll had him tied with Shaheen at 44% favorability.  The party pros are telling him, “You’re the one, Scotty.  You can do it.  Help us take the Senate and cripple that Obama for the rest of his term.  Do it!”

What an ego lift.  Your party needs you, it really needs YOU.  In that atmosphere, you can’t help but believe your country needs you, too.

The downside is Republicans will start writing you out of the history books if you stiff them now.   If you play it safe on the sidelines, lawyering, pontificating on Fox, doing guest appearances with Cheap Trick, etc., they’ll drop you fast and say you were a one-hit wonder, a good looking guy who had the soft luck to run against Martha Coakley.

Your party is offering you so much it hurts. 

There’s the chance to be the GOP savior again and recreate the magic of 2009-10, when you beat Coakley and deprived Democrats of their filibuster-proof Senate majority.  There’s the opportunity to attain historic stature as a man who was elected to the Senate in two states.  There’s the promise of redemption after that awful loss to Elizabeth Warren.

All you have to do is endure a tough campaign where the Dems direct millions to Shaheen’s defense and hit you night and day for being a carpetbagger, an office shopper.

All you have to do is risk losing to a formidable woman.   Again.

Also, if you put your money down on the number for U.S. Senate, N.H., and they spin the wheel and you lose, you know the media will be pouring concrete into a mold that says: As a politician, Brown was a good male model.

Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and say he thought through all of the above before he burned his boats on the Rye shore, in which case we can expect a Brown for Senate announcement soon, very soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment