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Back to the Future in Massachusetts: A Post Script – Brown Snubs Palin

by Steven J. Gulitti Tuesday, Apr. 13, 2010 at 2:26 PM

So there you have it, the first major political figure to ride to victory partly on the back of the Tea Party Movement has decided to quickly distance himself from it rather than risk having it torpedo his hopes for reelection two years from now. Scott Brown wants to continue to be seen as a mainstream moderate New England Republican, anyone surprised by that?

Earlier this year in an article titled “Back to the Future in Massachusetts”(1/24/10), I made the following observations among others: “No analysis of the 2010 Massachusetts election can be complete without acknowledging that the Tea Party Movement has moved, at least for the time being, from the fringe into the mainstream of American politics…. But the real question for the G.O.P. is has it made a deal with the Devil in jumping onboard the Tea Party tiger? It is one thing to embrace the Tea Party Movement when the opposition is a Democrat, but what about the prospect of intra-party challenges during the upcoming 2010 Republican primary process… When you combine the Tea Party Movement’s penchant for ideological purity with the likes of it’s leading personalities: Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint, you have a formula for driving independent voters into the hills and thereby affecting a drain off of support for any type of centrist Republican agenda.”
Well, as it so happens, it didn’t take long before the chickens came home to roost around the Bay State. According to the Monday Edition of the Boston Herald, it appears that newly elected Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown wants to be a U.S. Senator for more than one abbreviated term. Why else would the politically savvy Brown chose not to appear with Sarah Palin who is scheduled to appear at a Tea Party rally in Boston this Wednesday? Quoting the Boston Herald: “U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, whose stunning victory in January was fueled in part by Tea Party anger, has snubbed the fiery grassroots group and declined its invitation to join Sarah Palin Wednesday at a massive rally on Boston Common, the Herald has learned. Brown’s decision to skip the first big rally in Boston by the group whose members are credited with helping him win election has some experts saying he’s tossed the Tea Party overboard, as he prepares for re-election in 2012. He wants to mainstream himself before the election,” said Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political scientist”
Political analyst Lou DiNatale put it even more bluntly saying: “To win re-election, Scott Brown floating to the right is a serious problem. And showing up at a Sarah Palin, Tea Party event is not the way to the middle.” So much for the great surge to the right in Massachusetts. As I said in my original article: “The one thing that is abundantly clear is that Brown rode to victory on a wave of independent voter support and not because large numbers of Massachusetts voters have suddenly embraced the principles of the G.O.P. and switched their party affiliation.” Scott Brown knows that his political bread is buttered at the table of moderate politics and not on the far right and certainly not by affiliating with the Tea Party Movement or its current claque of cheerleaders. Likewise Brown has declined the invitation by the Greater Lowell Tea Party to appear at a rally being held in this old New England mill city. The Lowell Tea Party organization has downplayed Brown’s unwillingness to appear because he has to stay in Washington and “do his job”, a view that veteran political analyst Larry Sabato suggested: “was willfully naive.”
So there you have it, the first major political figure to ride to victory partly on the back of the Tea Party Movement has decided to quickly distance himself from it rather than risk having it torpedo his hopes for reelection two years from now. Scott Brown wants to continue to be seen as a mainstream moderate New England Republican, anyone surprised by that? Afterall moderate Republicans are the only variety that can presently survive in the harsh climate of 21st Century New England. I guess in the final anlysis remaining electable trumps ideological purity, even on the political right.

Steven J. Gulitti
New York City
April 12, 2010

Sources:

Scott Brown snubs Sarah Palin, bags Tea Party rally
http://www.bostonherald.com/news/politics/view.bg?&articleid=1246482&format=&page=1&listingType=MA2004#articleFull

Scott Brown To Skip Tea Party Rally In Boston With Sarah Palin
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/12/scott-brown-to-skip-tea-p_n_533961.html


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