The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Scott Brown posed nude for Cosmo, but doesn’t get magazine’s vote

Scott Brown posed for a Cosmopolitan magazine centerfold in June 1982. <br/> (Courtesy of Cosmopolitan magazine)

To all the young, aspiring politicians pondering the age-old question, “Should I pose nude in an international women’s magazine?” Yes, you can still have a career after. No, the editors cannot guarantee their support when you run for office 30 years later.

Scott Brown, the former U.S. senator from Massachusetts who is hoping to return to Capitol Hill via New Hampshire, famously appeared as the centerfold in Cosmopolitan magazine in 1982. A Boston College law student, Brown, then 22 years old, was considered one of the sexiest men alive.

But the people at Cosmo were far more impressed with Brown’s looks (just check out that soap opera hair) then they are now with his politics. The editors announced Tuesday the magazine’s endorsement of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), the incumbent Brown is challenging in a tough race. (In addition to sex tips and fashion no-nos, Cosmo started doing political endorsements for the 2014 midterms.)

“And while we wish we could support the man who once posed nude in our pages, his policy positions just aren’t as solid as his abs were in the ’80s,” the editors wrote. They go to explain their support for Shaheen, noting her stances on abortion, equal pay and other women’s rights issues.

“Scott Brown may have been Cosmopolitan‘s “sexiest man” in 1982, but in 2014, we’re picking brains over brawn — and that’s Jeanne Shaheen,” they conclude.

For what it’s worth, Brown is all about equal rights when it comes to posing nude. In 2010, just after he won the late senator Edward Kennedy’s open seat, he was interviewed by Barbara Walters who asked him if a woman who did a naked photo shoot could be elected to the U.S. Senate.

“I think if someone is qualified, regardless of what they did in their youth — we all make mistakes,” Brown said. “I’m not perfect. And do I regret doing that? No. Cause if I hadn’t done that, I never would have been sitting here with you. It’s all connected. So is there a double standard? I hope not. If someone is qualified to do the job, they should be able to do it, regardless of what they’ve done in their past.”