Way More Mr. Nice Guy
Scott Brown rode his pickup, barn coat, and genuine likability all the way to the U.S. Senate in 2010. Two years later the charm offensive is back and bigger than ever. But can Brown convince Massachusetts voters to return him to Washington just because he’s a good man?
In early June, I meet Alice Shea during a Brown campaign event at a strawberry festival in Danvers. A pleasant middle-aged woman, she’s wearing a “Brown for Senate” hoodie. Shea is precisely the kind of voter Brown’s going to need to win. She tells me that her father always insisted that she forever remain three things: an American, a Catholic, and a Democrat. But as she’s grown older, she says, she’s begun questioning that third point. She makes a joke about coming out of the closet as a Republican. Brown has been the catalyst for her evolution, and she tells me that character should come before party. If you were to keel over on the sidewalk, she says, and someone were to offer you CPR, you wouldn’t ask him what party he belonged to. Character is what matters, and she likes Brown’s.
What about his policies? I ask. Does she agree with them?
“Not always,” she acknowledges.
And when she doesn’t?
“I e-mail him,” she says, though she concedes that she usually doesn’t change his mind. But, she tells me, he knows more about the issues than she does. And besides, he’s such a nice guy.
Read about Scott Brown’s opponent, Elizabeth Warren.