Is Scott Brown an Obama Fan?

scott brownPhoto Illustration by Josue Evilla

Earlier this month, we published a long profile of Scott Brown, our state’s U.S. Senator and a nominal Republican. In that story, writer Bill Beuttler notes Brown’s entire campaign has focused on his bipartisan nature, with nary a reference to the GOP:

Marc Landy, a political science professor at Boston College, sums up Brown’s difficult dance this way: “Since he is to the right of the Massachusetts electorate, he must do three things—emphasize that he is a regular guy with good character, emphasize elitist aspects of his opponent, and tread a fine line between maintaining his conservative credentials while still showing himself to be a maverick.”

Since we published our story, Brown recorded a very brief appearance at the Republican National Convention. He’s also been playing up his successful bill that banned insider trading in Congress, so I wasn’t surprised to see his new commercial touting the legislation over the weekend. (Obviously, he’s driving his truck in it.)

Yup, Brown is outraged that there wasn’t such a bill already: “You would go to jail if you did the same thing,” he tells viewers. My favorite part, though, is that he’s actually showing off a handshake with President Obama! The boogeyman of conservatives everywhere! Brown even goes so far as to add in a little “Good job!” subtitle, showing that the Obama is proud of Brown!

All kidding aside: This is the reason why Scott Brown is tied with—or possibly ahead of—his opponent, Democrat Elizabeth Warren. By emphasizing his broad appeal and likable nature, he’s showing independents and conservative Democrats that it’s okay to vote for him.