R. James Steiner: Why this Republican and military veteran is not voting for Scott Brown

(The opinions expressed on this page are not necessarily those of the New Hampshire Journal. The Journal welcomes opinions on all sides of issues and from all candidates for office.)




I am sure Scott Brown is a nice guy. He has been successful by any measure — in Massachusetts.


He raised his family — in Massachusetts.


He served in the National Guard — in Massachusetts.


It seems to me that Scott Brown simply desires a national platform. New Hampshire only represents a state of convenience for him, not a state from which he longs to represent the populace he is just meeting for the first time.


New Hampshire beats the alternative of losing in Massachusetts. With apologies to a former President from Massachusetts, an honest campaign credo by Scott Brown might read, “Ask not what Scott Brown can do for New Hampshire, ask only what New Hampshire can do for Scott Brown.”


My concern is that somewhere in Scott’s hidden agenda is a plan simply to get into the national spotlight again.


New Hampshire will become simply part of the dirt he kicks up with his truck as he moves on quickly to test the national waters. After all, being elected from two states must mean he is presidential material, at least in his political camp.

A national spotlight would allow him to draw parallels to former statesman Daniel Webster, who also served in Congress from both New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Recognizing Scott’s successes to date, and with all due respect, he still seems short of meeting that standard for comparison.

The Republican support for Scott is easily defined. A win by him helps the national party perhaps close a gap in the U.S. Senate. That goal has nothing to do with New Hampshire or its residents; the national politicos rally around him because the national party is counting beans.


It does not seem that New Hampshire needs that kind of representation in Washington, D.C. If Scott were really a bona fide New Hampshire candidate he could legitimately ask for support and votes.


He is not.


Sen. Shaheen, on the other hand, raised her family — in New Hampshire.


One of her daughters has followed her husband into the law practice — in New Hampshire.


Sen. Shaheen served in varied elective offices, from state Senator to U.S. Senator — in New Hampshire.


And she served a successful stint as Governor in between — of New Hampshire.


New Hampshire is entitled to an elected representative who has her sights set on New Hampshire issues first. In the U.S. Senate race that is Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.


(R. James Steiner is a life-long Republican, and military veteran. He ran for Congress in the 2008 Republican primary, and chaired the Republican Rules Committee in the mid-1990s. He is a graduate of West Point and served as a Green Beret in the service. He has practiced law in New Hampshire the last 27 years.)

Author: R. James Steiner

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  • rhw39

    Where is your head, Scott Brown, was born in New Hampshire, and he is asking for our votes. You don’t know what your talking about.

    • James steiner

      rhw39…thank you for your thoughts. but the fact is that he lived in NH for 18 months (1 1/2 years) and then lived in Mass for over 50 years, and returned to NH last year. I lived in Mass longer than he has lived in NH when I attended law school in Boston for 3 years and served with Special Forces at Ft. Devens, MA for 2 years. But I wouldn’t try to fool citizens of Mass into believing I am “from” Mass.

      • SilasdeGoute

        I don’t care where scott brown was born; Jeanne Shaheen is still a commie socialist liberal Obama lover.

  • Joel Saren

    perfect. “NH is not a consolation prize.” Our roots run deep. His NH roots are so new that they might not ever survive a NH winter.

  • Peter Lemiska

    Mr. Steiner,

    Your argument is completely without merit. Jeanne Shaheen was born in Missouri. She graduated high school and earned her bachelor’s degree in Pennsylvania. She earned her master’s degree and taught school in Mississippi – all before moving to the Granite State.

    The real issue is Shaheen’s clear allegiance to the Democratic Party and to the most radical President we have seen in our lifetime. There is nothing to suggest that would change if she wins re-election. It is astonishing and sad that someone who calls himself a life-long Republican publicly supports Shaheen and, by extension, Obama’s policies.

    • James steiner

      …and then she raised her family here over the last several decades, and worked in her community…in New Hampshire, and served in elected office…in New Hampshire….

      • SilasdeGoute

        Scott Brown was born in NH

  • Rick Levine

    I now live in Massachusetts but grew up in Dover, NH. Scott Brown was just a pretty boy when he held State office. He was just a pretty boy with a truck when he was elected to the US Senate and did nothing for our State. Elizabeth Warren blew all the air out of his truck tires and left the pretty boy totally embarrassed. Now he’s trying to be a pretty boy all over again by running for US Senator in NH. He is simply using the citizens of NH to try to gain national prominence. Jeanne Shaheen has served NH admirably during her political stint representing her constituents, I wish I still lived in NH and would vote for her to carry on the will of the great residents of NH.

  • JGB

    What position did Jeanne Shaheen appoint R. James Steiner to? Doesn’t politics make strange bedfellows!

    • Peter Lemiska

      JGB – That would have been the Governor’s Commission on Disabilities in 1997.

  • JGB

    Good Jeannie Soldier, Steiner is a Shaheen Appointee on Board of Education and Service Academy Selection Committee. Wonder why he would leave that out of his Endorsement??? Was this part of Mr.Steiner’s hidden agenda? That is the Real reason Steiner is not supporting Senator Brown!!! Maybe another appointment could be granted by his favorite Genie! Senator Shaheen and Harry Reid have done enough Damage to our Country and New Hampshire.

    • James steiner

      Sorry to correct your error JGB, but Gov. Steve Merrill appointed me to the State Board of Education. The position on the Governor’s Commission on Disabilities was limited to a State Board of Education Member by state law. Without fanfare I was the one of the 7 potential candidates selected. And as a West Point grad I served on Sen. Warren Rudman’s Service Academy Selection Committee long before being asked, due to my experience, to serve on Sen. Shaheen’s. No hidden agenda; she is just the best for the State of New Hampshire.

      • SilasdeGoute

        She is not best for anything. She’s a commie and so is Scott Brown for all that matter.

  • Peter Lemiska

    Look, counselor, the fact remains that, as Governor, Jeanne Shaheen DID appoint you to the Governor’s Commission on Disabilities. And if you choose to paint Senator Brown as an outsider, that’s your prerogative. Many NH voters will buy into that.

    But most Americans believe that Barack Obama’s radical policies have taken our country in the wrong direction. He could not have done that without the help of blind loyalists like Jeanne Shaheen. Senator Brown may not be a perfect candidate, but reasonable voters know that a vote for Shaheen is a vote for Obama.

  • SilasdeGoute

    So my choices are between a 99% obama clone (Shaheen) and a 78% obama clone (Brown) that just moved to my state to run for senate. These options SUCK. So regretfully I will not be voting for either of them.

    • Peter Lemiska

      Regretfully, Silas, many voters will likewise be taking your position. It may be that neither candidate appeals to them. In fact, it’s a rare occurrence when we agree with any politician 100% of the time. (Even Shaheen didn’t reach that mark with Obama.) But the fact remains that on November 4th, one of these two people will be elected to represent New Hampshire in the U.S. Senate. Even if it means choosing the lesser objectionable candidate, why deprive yourself of your fundamental right to participate in the process?