Scott Brown never misrepresented himself or his intentions.
Scott Brown announced yesterday that he decided not to run for the Senate seat vacated by John Kerry. While I would have preferred he run, I can’t say I blame him.
After all, Massachusetts elected Elizabeth Warren, someone who demonstrably misrepresented her ethnicity for employment purposes both in professional publications and for the purpose of her university’s federal filings. One thing I learned just yesterday was that Warren admitted in an interview that she did not meet the legal definition necessary to claim minority status. Nonetheless, she is on the tip of almost every Democrat’s tongue as a candidate for President in 2016, and has to be considered a frontrunner if Hillary does not run.
Given the state of Massachusetts politics, it would have been too much to expect Brown to run for Senate a third time this year and then again in 2014.
Brown was a Senator for less than three years, but he holds an important place in our political history.
His election in January 2010 was a watershed moment in the rise of opposition to Obamacare, a spontaneous coming together of the Tea Party movement and blue collar Democrats. As someone who covered that 2010 race more closely and earlier than anyone, I witnessed first hand the passion with which seemingly disparate groups wanted to deprive Obama of a filibuster-proof Senate.
That 41st vote against Obamacare had enormous significance. It was not enough to stop it, because the Senate had passed a bill in late December 2009. Brown’s election meant that the House, led by Nancy Pelosi, could not modify the Senate bill and had to take it as is, but for some relatively minor “reconciliation” changes. The hard core progressives never got to weigh in on Obamacare.
The Senate Obamacare bill, which became law because Brown could block any non-reconciliation changes, was and is a monstrosity, hated by conservatives and true progressives alike. Only party-line Democrats like it.
Brown’s election in January 2010 also kept up the momentum created by the elections of Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie in November 2009, and took that momentum to a new level which carried forward into the 2010 mid-term elections and Republicans taking back the House.
One thing which is beyond dispute, however, is that Brown was true to his word of being the independent man, someone who reached across the aisle. He ran that way in the 2010 election, and he voted that way.
Scott Brown never misrepresented himself or his intentions. That’s a lot more than we can say about his successor or just about any other politician.
I wish him well, whether its running for Governor in 2014 or just returning to private life.