(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.)
By R. JAMES STEINER
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.)