Gas Up the Pickup Truck?

BOSTON - JANUARY 19: U.S. Senator-elect, Republican Scott Brown displays a special edition of the Boston Herald after winning the Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat January 19, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakley in a special election to fill the seat of late U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy
National Journal
Alex Roarty
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Alex Roarty
Dec. 6, 2013, 6:40 a.m.

Will Scott Brown run in New Hamp­shire after all? For months, most Gran­ite State and D.C. Re­pub­lic­ans have con­sidered the former law­maker more in­ter­ested in at­ten­tion than an ac­tu­al Sen­ate cam­paign. But Brown’s de­luge of cam­paign-style vis­its, ac­com­pan­ied by a raft of stor­ies about his in­ten­tions, have con­vinced many he’s now ser­i­ous about run­ning. Still, he’s not in yet, and there are a host of reas­ons to think he nev­er will be.

— Des­pite his vis­its, Brown hasn’t per­son­ally cour­ted GOP lead­ers and con­ser­vat­ive act­iv­ists, an im­port­ant step for any can­did­ate con­sid­er­ing a bid for statewide of­fice (much less in a place where voters ex­pect fu­ture pres­id­ents to bend hand-on-knee ask­ing for their vote). Many party lead­ers, in fact, say they don’t think Brown even has a form­al group of ad­visers, in Mas­sachu­setts or New Hamp­shire. Brown’s con­tem­plat­ing a cam­paign, but he ap­pears to be do­ing en­tirely in­side his own head.

— He won’t ne­ces­sar­ily re­ceive a free pass in a primary. Yes, Re­pub­lic­ans are ex­cited that they might fi­nally have found a cred­ible can­did­ate to take on in­cum­bent Jeanne Shaheen, and, yes, the primary field is so far bar­ren of any oth­er top-tier con­tenders. But the Bay State Re­pub­lic­an’s re­cord begs for sort of con­ser­vat­ive chal­lenge all too com­mon in GOP polit­ics: Among oth­er things, he has sup­por­ted abor­tion rights, a ban on as­sault weapons and op­posed Paul Ry­an’s budget and the Bush-era tax cuts. Does Brown, cur­rently earn­ing a com­fort­able liv­ing in the private sec­tor, have the stom­ach to beat back con­ser­vat­ive cri­ti­cism?

— And then there’s the mat­ter of the gen­er­al elec­tion. New Hamp­shire is a swing state, es­pe­cially in a midterm elec­tion, but Shaheen is a re­l­at­ively pop­u­lar in­cum­bent star­ing down an overt car­pet­bag­ger. Even with Obama­care’s struggles, Brown would start as an un­der­dog.

Most agree he can wait un­til late winter to de­cide on a cam­paign. By that time, hope­fully he re­mem­bers which state he’s run­ning in.

What We're Following See More »
New Hampshire Called for Hillary Clinton
1 hours ago
Rep. Ellison Confirms He Will Quit Congress If Elected DNC Chair
1 hours ago

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison is currently the favorite to become the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and he has confirmed that if he is elected come February, he will resign his seat in Congress. In a statement from Ellison this morning, he says that the Democratic Party needs "a chair with only one full time commitment."

Trump To Nominate Gen. John Kelly For Homeland Security
2 hours ago

Donald Trump has chosen Gen. James Kelly to be his secretary of homeland security, making Kelly the third general tapped by Trump to serve in his administration. The official announcement is likely to come in the next couple of days. Kelly, who did not endorse Trump during the campaign, "was the commander of U.S. Southern Command until earlier this year."

2018 WATCH
Iowa Gov. Branstad Nominated For Ambassador To China
3 hours ago

Iowa Republican Terry Branstad, the longest-serving governor in American history, has accepted President-elect Donald Trump's offer to serve as ambassador to China, Bloomberg reported late Tuesday. Branstad has a longstanding relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping and backed Trump during the election. If he's confirmed, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds would become the Hawkeye State's first female governor and could run for a full term in 2018. Iowa does not place term limits on its governors.

Trump Is TIME’s Person of the Year
3 hours ago

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.