Katy Burns: Memo to Scott Brown: Get serious!
Dear Scott Brown, late of Massachusetts and now of New Hampshire:
Here’s a bit of advice from one of your many new Granite State neighbors.
Please, get serious. Run for the Senate. Or stop the prolonged tease you’ve been subjecting your party and your potential rivals to. Not to mention the worthy voters of this state, who are beginning to wonder if you have the gravitas we expect of our public servants.
Your two latest appearances on the front pages didn’t really do much to dispel the growing suspicion on the part of a lot of us that perhaps, just perhaps, you’re not a serious person.
The first was your shirtless romp on Hampton Beach a few weeks ago. Yes, yes. I know you were supporting a fine cause when you – with scores of others – joined the Penguin Plunge, stripped down and ran into the ocean to raise money for the Special Olympics.
For years, in cold climes packs of adults of every size and gender have been dashing into icy waves in the winter, often to promote a cause. And just as quickly they race back out of the water and into dry togs. It is, after all, cold. But not you. According to news accounts, you just kept cavorting in the water until life guards told you to come out.
And when you finally did emerge from the waters, you hung around shirtless, a nice contrast to other folks surrounding you who were clad in bright red shirts touting the show’s sponsor. Which was, no doubt, why your photo was on front pages all around, prompting one friend to wonder aloud if you thought you could counteract the GOP’s image problems with women.
But it’s one thing to be, as you once were, a 22-year-old hunk in an artfully nude pose as the centerfold of Cosmopolitan magazine. It’s quite another to strut your 55-year-old stuff on Hampton Beach in February.
Then there was the renting of your political mailing list to some right-wing media outfit which promptly – using your letterhead and your name – blitzed your supporters’ email boxes with spam from a crackpot doctor who likes issuing baleful warnings about the imminent danger to mankind from vaccines, fluoride, MSG, the artificial sweetener aspartame and aluminum cookware. This guy’s latest paranoid fantasy is reportedly that health care reform is actually part of a vast conspiracy masterminded by extralegal organizations trying to euthanize large numbers of Americans.
Needless to say, this craziness is not supported by even a scintilla of science. It’s unfortunate, Sen. Brown, that you appeared to endorse it. Again, it sure gives the impression that you’re a less-than-serious person.
Too bad your bid to be elected to a full term in the Senate from Massachusetts flopped. It must have been hard after your eye-popping capture of Sen. Ted Kennedy’s old seat. You were Scott the Democrat Slayer. National attention was lavished on you, your lovely family, that truck and above all the barn jacket. Must have come as a rude shock when, after all the shouting died down, Bay State Dems just weren’t that into you.
You recovered nicely from your defeat, though.
Within what seemed like just weeks you signaled that you weren’t really interested in running to finish John Kerry’s Senate term. Or in running for governor later this year. And then you began jetting hither and yon – yon being mostly Iowa – coyly implying you wanted to play a role in national politics. You also drove up to our state regularly, feeding the local GOP nabobs’ sense of importance and handing our senior senator, Jeanne Shaheen, a great fund-raising cudgel.
More to the point, I think, you really made major changes in your personal life. Within a year of losing that Senate race, you took a paying gig as a talking head on Fox News. You were appointed to at least one corporate board of directors. You joined Nixon Peabody, a major Boston law firm. You helped to found a hawkish pressure group, the Bipartisan Coalition for American Security. And you signed up as a consultant for some outfit called Global Digital Solutions. All in all, it looks as if you’re enjoying a pretty lucrative post-Senate lifestyle. And many of those speaking engagements you’re embarking on may well pay tidy fees as well.
Sounds like a life pretty well-removed, financially, from part-time modeling, practicing real estate law from your house and serving in a bunch of elective jobs.
Maybe you sold your Massachusetts house and moved to the family’s vacation home in Rye because you want to run for Shaheen’s U.S. Senate seat. But I wonder. For perhaps the first time in your life, you’re earning big money. And so maybe – like many other high-income folks – you’ve moved to New Hampshire because you don’t want to pay state income tax on all that dough.
Hey, we get that! Heck, we promote that. So it’s okay, truly.
But what’s not okay is this silly will-he-or-won’t-he game you’re playing. So make up your mind, and then speak your mind. Or as my old friend Mary Angela’s no-nonsense mother used to say when we’d dither about things: Piss, or get off the pot.
Meanwhile, Scott Brown, welcome to New Hampshire!
(Monitor columnist Katy Burns lives in Bow.)