Mitt Romney and Scott Brown: Frenemies or Soul Mates?

Sen. Scott Brown (R–Mass.)<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/statesenatorscottbrown/5510506584/sizes/z/in/photostream/">Scott Brown</a>/Flickr

I wrote on Monday about GOP political guru Eric Fehrnstrom’s dilemma heading into the November election: How to convincingly shill for two candidates, Mitt Romney and Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, who hold sharply diverging views on the some of the biggests issues of the day. What will Fehrnstrom say when he’s inevitably asked to defend Romney’s fierce opposition to the Dodd–Frank Wall Street reform law—a law that Brown voted for (after watering it down) and is campaigning on already? Make one false step and you’re the star of someone’s $500,000 ad buy.

The flip side of that dilemma is that even if Fehrnstrom doesn’t end up disparaging one of his candidates’ positions, Democrats are perfectly content to lump Brown and Romney together as BFFs. Brown, locked in a dead-even re-election battle against Democrat Elizabeth Warren, got a lot of traction ahead of his 2010 special election by pushing back against Democrats’ attempts to tie him to George W. Bush and other Republicans. Relative to the rest of the party, he’s still quite popular in Massachusetts, in large part because voters see him as somewhat mavericky.

Massachusetts Democrats would like to change that, and they’re hoping the presence of another Massachusetts GOPer on the ballot next November will make it easier to tie Brown to more-unpopular Republicans. Here’s a new spot just released from the Massachusetts Democratic party:

There’s some symmetry to the campaign, at least. For some time now, Warren has tethered her Senate campaign to the fortunes of President Barack Obama. Warren played a starring role in the president’s recent documentary-quality infomercial, and the Obama campaign recently sent out two minutes of deleted scenes from the film featuring…Warren, talking about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau she conceived and helped design.

OUR NEW CORRUPTION PROJECT

The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate