A college Republicans group snagged a boldfaced name for an event in February: Former Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who is considering a bid for Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s seat in neighboring New Hampshire. But he’s not speaking at a New Hampshire college. On Feb. 6, Brown will head to Ithaca, N.Y., to speak to Cornell students.
Brown has made some big moves to show he’s serious about New Hampshire, most notably his actual move to from Massachusetts to his vacation home in Rye, N.H. But he’s kept up an unusual schedule of appearances for a candidate whose Live Free or Die bona fides are already being questioned.
Other events he’s tweeted about recently include speaking to Concord Academy (that’s Concord, Mass.) on Jan. 18, work at the Pentagon on Jan. 14, meetings in D.C. on Jan. 13, appearances on Fox News in New York on Jan. 10, meetings and a speech in Florida on Jan. 2, his daughter’s concert in Worcester, Mass., on Dec. 31, and seeing Pippin and playing guitar on The Huckabee Show in New York in late December.
And another appearance, which he didn’t tweet about, on Jan. 16: Cape Cod, helping a Bay State congressional candidate raise money. It’s not that he hasn’t appeared publicly in New Hampshire recently — he has — but he hasn’t chosen to highlight any recent Granite State visits.
Meanwhile, Brown has sent two fundraising emails on behalf of the New Hampshire GOP this month. But from his campaign account, the emails he’s recently sent out are eclectic and are not New Hampshire-focused, including a (nonpolitical) op-ed his wife wrote for the Lowell Sun, a Massachusetts paper; the text to JFK’s “City Upon a Hill” speech; an op-ed on veterans and budget cuts; and a speech he made in Iowa in November.
Brown wouldn’t start the race as your average candidate — he’s already served in the Senate and is well-known in New Hampshire, he’s a superstar fundraiser, polling shows him running just a few points behind Shaheen, and Democrats are nervous enough about his potential candidacy that they’ve gone on the air attacking him — and he doesn’t necessarily need to take a totally conventional approach to jumping in the race. If he does ultimately get in, it will be fair to say he did it his way.