Now that everyone is buzzing about Susan Rice's decision to withdraw from consideration as secretary of State, there's a quote from Sen. Scott Brown's farewell speech that will get parsed quite a bit in coming days.Brown's farewell speech on the Senate floor highlighted his achievements in the Senate and also set the tone that we may not be seeing or hearing the last of him:
Why? Because Sen. John Kerry is emerging as a top contender for the Cabinet post and if he leaves the Senate that would give Brown, who was defeated last month, an opening to return. - USA Today, 12/13/12
Now here's the part of Brown's farewell speech that is going to make you laugh/vomit:“As I’ve said many times before, victory and defeat is temporary,” he told colleagues. “Depending on what happens, and where we go, all of us, we may obviously meet again.” - Boston Globe, 12/12/12
Cue Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D. NV):“I have been and still am deeply concerned about the lack of bipartisan efforts to solve our country’s most pressing economic challenges,” Brown said. “Many times, political party and personal gain is put before the needs of our country.” - Boston Globe, 12/12/12
I know we're all worried about Brown running again. Despite getting his ass handed to him by incoming Senator Elizabeth Warren (D. MA), Brown still has a decent approval numbers and of course there are people in Massachusetts who are naive enough to believe that he is this bipartisan, moderate Independent voice who bucks his own party every now and then. A lot of these claims can be easily debunked but here's an interesting fact about Scott Brown that will certainly come up if he actually runs again:"I saw during the campaign his plea for bipartisanship. That is a big joke. It's a travesty," Reid told reporters. "He was one of the most partisan people that's ever served here."
"He could have saved Citizens United," Reid said, referring to a bill that would have required corporations to disclose their independent-group spending on elections. "He could have been the 60th vote on that and many other things. So I don't need a lecture from him on bipartisanship. He should go look in the mirror." - Huffington Post, 11/14/12
Brown's long pro-gun record became a big campaign issue in the Massachusetts Senate race after the Aurora movie theater shooting happened:Lame duck U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) is the leading recipient of campaign donations from the gun lobby according to a review of data published by OpenSecrets.org - a resource for reviewing federal campaign contributions, lobbying data and analysis.
GoLocal reviewed both the 2010 and 2012 election cycles and found that Senator Brown raised for more gun lobby-related funds than any other member of the United States Senate.
In the 2010 election cycle his $23,000 plus gun lobby donations was second only to US Senator David Vitters' $25,953. And, in 2010 election cycle, Brown lead the U.S. Senate candidates with $30,275. - Go Local Worcester, 12/15/12
While Warren has only recently voiced her positions on gun rights, Brown has a 12-year record in the Massachusetts House and Senate, in addition to his 2½ years in the US Senate.Now to his credit, Brown did vote against the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act:
In the Legislature, Brown was a reliable vote for gun rights, with one major exception. He supported the state version of an assault weapons ban. But several of his votes earned top marks from gun rights groups, including an A-plus in 2008 from the Gun Owners’ Action League. Among them was a vote against a 2004 measure that sought to ban assault weapons manufactured prior to 1994. While serving as a state representative in 2002, he sided with a number of Democrats in allowing residents who had certain felony convictions to get gun licenses after seven years. - Boston.com, 7/27/12
However, Brown was and still is against renewing a federal ban on 19 types of military-style assault weapons that expired in 2004:But last year, Brown broke with The National Rifle Association, which supported him in the 2010 special election with $59,000 in contributions, to oppose a bill that has been the gun rights lobby’s top priority in Washington.
Known as the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act, it would allow gun owners with permits from their own states to carry concealed weapons across state lines, regardless of local and state restrictions. Brown said he would vote against granting that permission. Warren, too, opposes the measure. - Boston.com, 7/27/12
I'm going to let Boston Mayor Tom Menino (D) explain why making gun control a decision to be made by the states is a bad idea:‘‘Scott Brown supports the state assault weapons ban here in Massachusetts, and believes that the states are the appropriate venue for making these types of decisions,’’ a spokeswoman for Brown said in a statement. - Boston Globe, 7/24/12
In the state Senate, Brown did support the Massachusetts ban on assault weapons but there's a catch:
For Brown, gun control, like a woman's right to choose, is an issue where he tries to have his cake and eat it. He'll gladly take the gun lobby's money and do most of their bidding but then tries to make himself look like a common sense moderate by voting for gun control legislation with loopholes hoping no one will notice. Well pro-gun control groups have noticed Brown's posturing on the issue, especially during the 2012 campaign:While Brown supported the extension of the ban, he also opposed — and the state Senate ultimately rejected — an attempt to close what critics described as a ‘‘loophole’’ in the original law that allowed the sale and transfer of assault weapons owned prior to 1994. - Boston Globe, 7/24/12
“This is not an issue I think he necessarily has a principled stand on,” said Ladd Everitt, director of communications for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, a group in Washington supporting gun control.Gun control is a very serious issue that needs to be addressed, especially after the most recent tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. President Obama recently made a terrific speech in Connecticut calling for an end to these tragedies:
“Scott Brown is absolutely part of the problem,” Josh Rosenthal, founder of the Massachusetts-based Stop Handgun Violence said. “It’s beyond me how he could think that its OK for Al Qaeda and domestic criminals to buy assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, cash and carry, in 33 states.” - Boston.com, 7/27/12
During the 2012 campaign, Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren made a strong argument for gun control:“We can't tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society, but that can't be an excuse for inaction surely we can do better than this. If there's even one step we can take to save another child or another parent or another town from the grief that's visited Tucson and Aurora and Oak Creek and Newtown and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that, then surely we have an obligation to try. - President Barack Obama (D) 12/16/12
If Brown makes a come back bid for the U.S. Senate, he needs to answer for his positions on not wanting to renew the federal ban on assault weapons. He has to be held accountable for his votes. This needs to be a key issue in a potential special election. Sure, Brown will try to accuse whoever his opponent will be of politicizing a tragedy and he'll emphasize his endorsement from staunch gun control supporter, Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I. NY):“There is a huge difference between the guns of a sportsman or homeowner and high-powered assault weapons with 100-cartridge magazines,” she said. “I grew up around guns and gun owners, and I will work to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens. But the law must reflect the reality that, in the wrong hands, guns can be used for violent crimes, disrupting communities and making families and neighborhoods less safe.” - Boston.com, 7/27/12
But even Bloomberg's support of Brown couldn't his this fact:“The biggest reason the mayor is supporting Senator Brown is the senator’s help on one of our biggest gun issues: opposing concealed-carry reciprocity that would let people with gun permits from rural states like Arkansas and Kentucky carry hidden handguns in New York City,” Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser told the New York Times. - Raw Story, 7/26/12
It's understandable that there are many people here in this community are worried about Brown making a comeback. They're worried that a repeat of the 2010 special election could happen but Aaron Blake, David Weigel and Mike Lux put some things perspective:But Capital New York notes that Brown had an ‘A’ rating from the National Rifle Association in 2010. While Brown supported a state assault weapons ban, he opposed similar legislation at the federal level. Warren, his opponent, supports a federal ban on assault weapons. - Raw Story, 7/26/12
http://www.slate.com/...But it’s hard to call Brown anything close to a favorite. After all, this is Massachusetts, and the environment from his 2010 special election (held during the heat of the health care battle) will be very hard to replicate — lackluster opponent, mobilized conservatives, etc.
In fact, the environment today and the American people themselves are much more favorably disposed toward the Democratic Party and President Obama.
In addition, while Brown remains in good standing with voters even after his loss, some polls show he isn’t quite as popular as he once was. And for a Republican in Massachusetts, you need to be pretty damn popular to win. - Aaron Blake for Washington Post, 12/14/12
In June 2011, Brown led any potential Democratic opponent by nine to 25 points. He led Warren by 15 points.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...
We know what happened next. Brown's favorables sagged a little, but his job approval sagged more, as he struggled to remain credibly "non-partisan." The lowlight came at one debate, where he blurted out that his ideal Supreme Court justice was Antonin Scalia, then -- as a crowd booed -- started naming less-conservative justices. It was like watching a husband accidentally call his wife fat, then name a bunch of things he liked about her outfit. As much as Massachusetts tolerated Brown, its voters really didn't want a Republican taking up a Senate seat and moving Mitch McConnell closer to control. - David Weigel for Slate, 12/14/12
Who lost to Elizabeth Warren by the same margin that William Weld lost to John Kerry?Lux also points out that Brown was the only Senate incumbent to lose this past election. Plus Brown's momentum in the 2010 Special Election only gained steam towards the very end and Brown lost to Warren by 7.5 points whereas Tea Party extremist Richard Mourdock (R. IN) lost to newly elected-Senator Joe Donnelly (D. IN) by 5.5 points:
Scott Brown. Weld and Brown both lost by approximately 7.48 points, but Weld was going up against a popular two-term incumbent, whereas Brown was the incumbent facing a first-time political candidate. For all the talk about his special campaign skills and positioning, nothing in the results was very special. - Mike Lux for Huffington Post, 12/14/12
I don't doubt that Brown will make another attempt for a higher elected office. Whether it's for the U.S. Senate or the Massachusetts Governorship and yes, voters can have short memories. But the beauty of living in a highly social media society where everything is recorded is you can easily remind voters of who the real Scott Brown truly is: a gun loving, Tea Party shill bought and paid for by Wall Street and the Koch Brothers. We can certainly beat Scott Brown or even former Governor Bill Weld (R) but only if we heed David Weigel's advice:Time and again during the 2012 election, Brown showed that he is dangerously out of step with the people of Massachusetts and more in line with the Tea Party supporters who helped him win back in 2010. Opposing the Buffett Rule, supporting tax cuts for the wealthy, backing the Blunt Amendment to limit people's access to contraception and health care -- Scott Brown dug in on each of these positions and has shown no sign of changing during the lame duck session in Congress. - Mike Lux for Huffington Post, 12/14/12
I think Massachusetts Democrats will learn from their mistakes and are prepared to face off against Brown again. Losing that special election was a real wake up call to the Democratic Party that even on our home turf, you can't just easily win any election because you have a "D" at the end of your name. We not only learned that from the 2010 Special Election, but also from the 2012 Connecticut Senate Race where Linda McMahon turned out to be a little more competitive this time around against newly-elected Senator Chris Murphy (D) than she was back in 2010 against current Senator Richard Blumenthal (D). Grant it, Murphy made his mistakes along the campaign trail but he bounced back by making his case loud and clear and by exposing McMahon as the anti-woman, corporate shill that she truly is. These two races have helped Democrats become stronger campaigners and much better and make are cases clear and concise.In 2010, Martha Coakley's untested popularity was enough to scare most Democrats out of a primary. There were three members of the House delegation ambitious enough to think about the seat; only one, Rep. Mike Capuano, went for it. I see two possible screw-ups for Democrats in 2013: A dogpile that creates an expensive primary, or an appointed senator who runs and gets primaried. Brown and Warren cut a deal that prevented outside money from entering the state, and if Brown ran again without that deal, you could see listless Super PACs pouring in on his behalf. But you need an awful lot to go right for Brown in order for him to win. - David Weigel for Slate, 12/14/12
So Scott Brown, if you want to take another crack at getting elected to the U.S. Senate, go right ahead. We have a very big and great bench with candidates ranging from Mike Capuano to Ed Markey to Joe Kennedy III, just to name a few. Brown only helped us Democrats become more unified and a united party helps keep the bad guys like Brown out of the Senate and good guys and gals like Elizabeth Warren to victory. I'm ready if this special election takes place and so are Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats:
"We feel very comfortable -- if, in fact, something does happen -- we feel comfortable about Massachusetts," Reid said. "I think that I've already told you how I feel about Scott Brown." - Huffington Post, 11/14/12