December 17, 2013

Scott Brown is relocating to New Hampshire, which we take as a near-certain sign he will run for Senate from that state. His potential opponent, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), should be very nervous. Like many Senate Democrats up for reelection in 2014, she will have a mammoth Obamacare problem. In fiscally tight New Hampshire, Shaheen’s refusal to attack entitlements and address our long-term debt will not sit well. She ran as an independent voice and is now stuck to President Obama and his failing presidency like Velcro.

Then-Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., waves to supporters from his bus after a campaign rally at Faneuil Hall in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Then-Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) waves to supporters from his bus after a campaign rally at Faneuil Hall in Boston. (Michael Dwyer/Associated Press)

Moreover, Brown would be a candidate — albeit one who will have to beat back the carpetbagger attack — well suited for New Hampshire, experienced in running a Senate campaign, well-versed on the issues and fully vetted as a senatorial candidate. In a speech recently at the Ronald Reagan dinner in Iowa, Brown showed how effective he is in connecting with ordinary voters:

I became a Republican when I was poor.  … Before I was a year old, my Dad went his own way … and, unfortunately, he never really came back.  My Mom raised my sister and me alone, working as a waitress, sometimes depending on welfare, and generally doing her best.  We moved 17 times in 18 years.  If it wasn’t to another cheap apartment or second-floor walk-up, then we were the needy visitors in other people’s homes.

I had a series of stepdads.  Two out of 3 of them had a mean streak, and a few drinks made it a violent streak.

Both those guys brought a lot of fear into our lives and with no father to protect me, there were times in my boyhood when it felt like I couldn’t trust anyone.

No, his biography is not the stereotypical Republican one. And as a result, he can convey with sincerity a theme now heard increasingly from conservatives, namely that liberalism has failed the poor and conservatives have something better to offer:

Back then, just like today, national Democrats offered themselves as champions of the little guy … a voice for people at the bottom who didn’t have it easy.  But I had been pretty close to the bottom myself, and I didn’t see it that way.  When critics talked about Republicans as defenders of wealth and privilege, that sure didn’t describe the party and the cause that earned my loyalty when I had nothing.

Sometimes it seems that all the Democratic establishment has to offer America is better managed poverty.  And as we’re often reminded, their managing skills aren’t so good either.  This party of OURS, it has a different mission:  We are in the business of spreading opportunity.

And “opportunity” is more than just another word in politics, when you’ve had a glimpse of life without it.

We believe in the goodness and possibilities of every life.  We Republicans speak, at our best, for men and women who work hard to make a decent living … want schools that build knowledge and character … in a nation committed to security, fairness, and freedom.  They see their country as a force for the good like no other in this world, and they’re right.  Such people have always filled the ranks of the United States military, as their sons and daughters still do today.

That common touch, not just Obamacare, helped him win in Massachusetts in 2009. His outlook is grounded in personal experience, one which most voters can identify with on some level. (“A few years of staring poverty in the face, or feeling like you’re a step away from poverty, can bear down on a person.  They feel like they’re missing out on life.  And let me tell you, our whole country is missing out on the skills and talent that they have to share.  However these millions of citizens voted last time, the Democratic Party is certainly testing their patience.  And when we offer something better in 2016, they will be listening.”)

In 2013,  as in 2009, he easily slides from his own story into an indictment of Obamacare. Now it’s even easier to make the case since his dire predictions have largely come to pass:

It began with the promise, “If you like your plan, you can keep it, period.”  The attitude now is, “You’re going to change your plan and like it, period.”  And guess what? Here’s the message America is actually waiting to hear: “If we don’t like Obamacare, we can get rid of it, period.”

Remember when Obamacare was supposed to save everyone money, actually reduce federal costs?  And, of course, how could anyone even question the federal government’s competence to make it all work?  Ladies and gentlemen, this nation fought and won the Second World War in three years and eight months – and in the same amount of time, the Obama administration couldn’t even build a Web site. And we are supposed to trust the federal government to run our health care?  No thanks!!

It’s bad all around, and I voted three times to repeal it.  Today, the unions don’t want it.  The middle class is sick of hearing about it.  The original cost estimates are a joke.

It’s turning full-time jobs into part-time jobs.  And more than anything else, the underhanded way that the program was forced into law explains the nasty atmosphere in Washington.

That’s what, I strongly suspect, his campaign would sound like and why he would likely make New Hampshire a toss-up race. Can he do it again, win against a Democrat by riding the anti-Obamacare wave? Well, he’s got a better chance than anyone to win another New England seat back for the GOP.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.