Scott Brown Still Has Celebrity Status

U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., left, gives a concession speech as his wife Gail Huff, right, gestures to the audience at an election night watch party in a hotel in Boston, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. Brown lost to Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren in his bid for re-election to the U.S. Senate. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
National Journal
Mike Magner
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Mike Magner
Aug. 29, 2013, 3:30 p.m.

Not many of the losers in last year’s con­gres­sion­al elec­tions have bounced back as high as former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass.

Since his ouster in Novem­ber by Demo­crat Eliza­beth War­ren after three years in the Sen­ate, Brown has op­ted not to run for gov­ernor of Mas­sachu­setts, has sug­ges­ted he might run for pres­id­ent in 2016, and has said he will de­cide after Labor Day wheth­er he’ll try to make a Sen­ate comeback next year in New Hamp­shire, where he owns a second home.

In terms of real ac­com­plish­ments, Brown joined Nix­on Pe­abody as coun­sel in the law firm’s Bo­ston of­fice, be­came co­chair­man of a new de­fense-ad­vocacy group called the Bi­par­tis­an Co­ali­tion for Amer­ic­an Se­cur­ity, and — in per­haps his most mem­or­able move — played gui­tar with the rock band Cheap Trick as it per­formed its hit song “Sur­render.”

“I am a blessed man,” Brown tweeted after his per­form­ance on Monday night at the Hamp­ton Beach Casino Ball­room in New Hamp­shire. “I ful­filled one of my buck­et-list items and got to get up on stage and played #Sur­render with #Cheaptrick to­night. Wow.”

Brown, 53, did not re­spond to in­ter­view re­quests, but it ap­pears he main­tains his celebrity status eight months after leav­ing Con­gress, where he fin­ished out the term of the late Sen. Ed­ward Kennedy, D-Mass.

Thirty-one years after win­ning Cos­mo­pol­it­an magazine’s “Amer­ica’s Sex­i­est Man” con­test and pos­ing nude for the center­fold, Brown con­tin­ues to at­tract at­ten­tion as a Re­pub­lic­an star, though not one favored by the party’s pre­vail­ing con­ser­vat­ive wing.

Fox News made Brown a com­ment­at­or soon after his Sen­ate term ended in Janu­ary, and Bo­ston’s most pop­u­lar ra­dio sta­tion, WBZ, provided the format for Brown’s most re­cent polit­ic­al an­nounce­ment. “I’ve de­cided, with my wife’s bless­ing, that I will not be run­ning for gov­ernor of Mas­sachu­setts in 2014,” Brown said on the sta­tion’s Dan Rea Show on Aug. 21.

Brown elab­or­ated on his de­cision in a Face­book post: “I have been for­tu­nate to have private-sec­tor op­por­tun­it­ies that I find ful­filling and ex­hil­ar­at­ing,” he wrote. “These new op­por­tun­it­ies have al­lowed me to grow per­son­ally and pro­fes­sion­ally. I want to con­tin­ue with that pro­cess.”

Earli­er this month, after a fun­draiser for a Re­pub­lic­an state law­maker in New Hamp­shire, Brown told re­port­ers he would de­cide around Labor Day wheth­er to chal­lenge Demo­crat­ic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in 2014. Brown and his wife, TV journ­al­ist Gail Huff, own a home in Rye, N.H.

Brown also vis­ited the Iowa State Fair this month and floated the idea of launch­ing a pres­id­en­tial bid in 2016. He told the Bo­ston Globe‘s Jim O’Sul­li­van by tele­phone from Iowa that he was sur­prised how much he was re­cog­nized while tour­ing the Mid­w­est.

“It’s been kind of in­ter­est­ing to walk in­to a gas sta­tion in Mitchell, South Dakota, and, ‘Are you Scott Brown?’ or in­to the hotel last night in Fer­gus Falls [Minn.], and, ‘Are you Scott Brown?” he told O’Sul­li­van. “And I’m, like, ‘How do you know me?’ and they say, ‘I see you on Fox all the time.’ There’s cer­tainly an ap­pre­ci­ation here for the straight­for­ward way I do my job and set out facts.”

On his polit­ic­al am­bi­tions, Brown em­phas­ized his “big tent” philo­sophy for the GOP.

“I’m all around, try­ing to speak and bring that mes­sage that there’s room for me, there’s room for Sarah Pal­in, Newt Gin­grich, Rand Paul, there’s room for all of us,” he told the Globe.

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