Shannon Dooling

The Man From Massacusetts … or … New Hampshire? Maybe Narnia?

Scptt Brown can't remember what state he's in.

One might wonder if Americans prefer to live in some sort of fantasy world in which Good and Evil are constantly dueling it out to no foreseeable end. A hard-fought, close competition is what we seem to prefer, and when it’s, say, sports, that’s probably just fine.

But here’s the analogy: What if the game is only close because one team gets more points each time they score?

Welcome to New Hampshire, where Scott Brown (R) trails incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) by about one and a half points, well within the margin of error. Nobody is quite sure why.

Maybe Shaheen doesn’t shower, or has halitosis, or something. It would be one thing to wonder about the idea that Mr. Brown has no jobs agenda, but he has also boasted that he shouldn’t.

It’s also really quite easy to pick on a former U.S. Senator who complains about his opponent’s outlook on “securing” the U.S.-Mexican border but quite literally never felt like showing up to his committee meetings on the subject. As a senator from Massachusetts, Mr. Brown attended exactly zero border security hearings for the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Or maybe we might chuckle when he cannot remember legislation he sponsored.α

But let us pause for a moment to reconsider his tenure as a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. The idea of carpetbagging in the twenty-first century is hardly rare, but one would expect that Mr. Brown could at least remember what state he is in. And forgetting that he’s not in Massachusetts, anymore, Toto, wouldn’t be so big a deal, except that he keeps doing it.

Really.

James Pindell of WMUR explains the latest slip:

New Hampshire Republican U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown tried to politically navigate how he could run for office in the Granite State thirteen weeks after officially moving here from Massachusetts.

An FEC filing by U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown of New Hampshire, once again forgetting which state he is in.For the most part Brown has not let the move dominate the campaign, which has been about other issues. But then there are moments when mistakes are made.

The report was filed with the Senate last week, as required, but the Federal Election Commission has not put it online yet.

What a show.

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α Then again, he has every reason to want to forget. It’s a bit hard to pitch to a major voting bloc like, oh, say, women, when you have a record of sponsoring legislation trying to strip their rights of self-determination.

Oakes, Bob and Shannon Dooling. “Analysts Say Scott Brown Must Galvanize GOP Base In N.H. Senate Race”. WBUR. 15 August 2014.

Pindell, James. “Analysts Say Scott Brown Must Galvanize GOP Base In N.H. Senate Race”. WMUR. 23 October 2014.

The Twenty-First Century Carpetbagger Blues

Scott Brown missed all border security hearings in Senate, records suggest (Sean Sullivan/Washington Post)

It’s really easy to pick on Scott Brown. The former U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, once the GOP wunderkind who won the seat vacated by the late Ted Kennedy, continues to amaze as he struggles through a new campaign in New Hampshire that sees him trailing Democratic incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. Whether forgetting which state he’s running in, boasting his antipathy toward job creation, pretending (we hope) ignorance of his own anti-abortion legislation, or—well, right—whatever, he is a tragic clown singing the carpetbagger blues.

Or, as Sean Sullivan’s headline suggests:

The Washington PostFormer Massachusetts senator Scott Brown (R) has run several attack ads criticizing Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) for failing to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. But as a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, he missed all six hearings on border security that he was eligible to attend, records suggest.

Brown was absent from five hearings in 2011 and one in 2010, according to a review of public records and congressional transcripts and video. Of the six, four were full committee hearings and two were meetings of the subcommittee on Disaster Recovery and Intergovernmental Affairs, to which he belonged.

A review of all Homeland Security Committee hearings during the time Brown was senator shows those were the six he could have attended, based on his subcommittee membership.

Cole-ScottBrownIt is not uncommon for senators to miss committee hearings. Scheduling conflicts, including other committee meetings, can complicate matters. Shaheen has also been criticized for absences from committee meetings.

But Brown’s absences from border security hearings are especially notable since he has sought to elevate the issue in the campaign. He has routinely railed against “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants and argued that Shaheen been too soft on border security.

You know, just because.

No, really. At this point, just what does anyone expect? It’s Scott Brown.

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See a previous note on the Kinsley gaffe, as this was one for the ages.

Oakes, Bob and Shannon Dooling. “Analysts Say Scott Brown Must Galvanize GOP Base In N.H. Senate Race”. WBUR. 15 August 2014.

Waldman, Paul. “In Horrible Gaffe, Scott Brown Straightforwardly Explains Conservative Philosophy”. 3 September, 2014.

Benen, Steve. “A faulty memory trips up Scott Brown again”. msnbc. 25 September 2014.

Sullivan, Sean. “Scott Brown missed all border security hearings in Senate, records suggest”. The Washington Post. 1 October 2014.