Add Sen. Scott Brown to the lengthy list of members to watch during the lame duck session.
The outgoing Massachusetts politician could tack toward the center and vote with the Democrats after losing his Senate seat, particularly if Sen. John Kerry leaves for a post within the administration and Brown ends up running for Kerry’s vacant seat in a special election. Now, that’s a lot of if’s for politics—and an outcome that’s contingent on a few different steps.
Still, to set himself up for such a run, Brown would need to appeal to Massachusetts’ overwhelming liberal base of voters and that may cause him to cast his vote in a different, or more moderate way surrounding the fiscal cliff. “I’m deeply concerned about where our country is going, and I’m hopeful that, being a bipartisan guy, I can continue to bring people together and look at ways to solve our country’s problems. The only way we’ll get it done is to work together,” Brown said during a press conference on Tuesday.
But even with that spirit of bipartisanship, Brown was quick to say that he still opposes raising tax rates. His position had not changed in that regard, he added; like most Republicans, he is open to increased revenue through the closing of tax loopholes or by overhauling the code.
He did, however, lump himself with other moderate politicians when speaking about the future of politics, and he urged the Republicans to become more of a “large tet party.”
“I’m a pro-choice moderate Republican. There is a vanishing breed here,” he said. “You’ve lost Joe Lieberman, Richard Lugar, Kent Conrad, me, Olympia Snowe. That group in the middle is vanishing. And there are on both sides extremes, as you all know, kind of pushing back against the middle. I’ve always felt that that group in the middle is quite frankly the most powerful group because they have the ability to get to that 60-vote threshold and get things done. So I’m hopeful that we’ll be a more tolerant, open-minded party. And I hope to be able to continue playing a role, but I don’t know what yet.”