By G. Michael Dobbs
I will never forget being at a fundraising event for former East Longmeadow Selectman Jack Villamaino a few years back where the star attraction was an appearance by then Sen. Scott Brown.
I do no exaggerate when I say there was excitement in the room. It was exhibited by one woman who had been watching the door and coming in to say. He’s here! He’s here!”
Brown was a rock star.
That was his power. He was a long-time state senator who had done what many thought impossible. He had beat a Democrat who was better known and financed than he was to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the death of Ted Kennedy.
It didn’t hurt him that he was a former male model who came across in his campaign as a guy-next-door type who drove a pick-up truck and wore a barn jacket.
Brown deserved his win. Martha Coakley had been the very worst candidate possible as she disrespected the electorate.
He fought a hard battle with Elizabeth Warren and came up short. There was no shame in what he did.
His defeat fueled speculation about his next move in politics. I really thought he would run for governor. I think he is still much more highly regarded than Charles Baker and Massachusetts democrats have frequently put Republicans into that office.
Boy, though, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Brown and his wife own vacation property in New Hampshire and he is taking the steps to run for the senate there by forming an exploratory committee and then undertaking a listening tour according to the New York Times.
If he decides to run he would be facing freshman Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat.
According to the New York Times Brown has sold his home in Massachusetts and is now living in New Hampshire full-time.
I find all of this fascinating. What is the purpose of running for office? Most candidates would tell you they want to represent their district or state. They want to work for their people and represent their wishes. They want to carry to some governmental entity their values.
Lip service? Clichés? Perhaps.
Is that what Brown wants to do? He certainly could have done that by running for governor, but he elected to dive into another time-honored tradition of American politics practiced by members of both parties: let’s go someplace where we have a better chance of achieving our objective than our home state.
Brown’s goal is to get back into the Senate and he might have an easier time of that in New Hampshire than trying to unseat the senators in Massachusetts.
In a way I can’t say that I blame him. Being a senator must be intoxicating. You are one of 100 people in the nation in a position of power and responsibility. You have the opportunity of shaping law and policy that affect the most powerful nation on earth. Your every public utterance could be a headline.
That has to have an effect on you when it’s taken away.
Still, though, I’ve never thought too much of carpetbaggers no matter on which side of the aisle they sit.
A word of clarification
The story about the fundraising effort for the Springfield Campanile was inaccurate in its inclusion of Roger Crandall, the president and CEO of MassMutual as being one of the chairs of the campaign. A representative of the company said the information supplied by the city in its presentation was wrong and that Crandall is not involved in the campaign. The representative added the company is supporting it, however.
Agree? Disagree? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 280 N. Main St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. As always, this column represents the opinion of its author and not the publishers or advertisers of this newspaper.