Thursday, October 23, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;49.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/ra.png;2014-10-23 08:20:33
Sunday, August 24, 2014

A candidate for 21st-century NH

Telegraph Editorial

There are three criteria Republican voters should consider when choosing whether Bob Smith, Jim Rubens or Scott Brown should be the party’s nominee for U.S. Senate and win the right to take on Jeanne Shaheen in November.

The first is, which of the candidates can most effectively advance New Hampshire’s interests on Capitol Hill? It would not serve the state well to send someone to Washington who is more likely to get lost in the shuffle or take years to learn the ropes and get his voice heard. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

There are three criteria Republican voters should consider when choosing whether Bob Smith, Jim Rubens or Scott Brown should be the party’s nominee for U.S. Senate and win the right to take on Jeanne Shaheen in November.

The first is, which of the candidates can most effectively advance New Hampshire’s interests on Capitol Hill? It would not serve the state well to send someone to Washington who is more likely to get lost in the shuffle or take years to learn the ropes and get his voice heard.

The second benchmark for voters to consider is which candidate is most likely to serve as a counterweight to the strident partisan acrimony that permeates Washington and has given us legislative gridlock. One of the big reasons that Congress’ approval rating is hovering at record lows is because lawmakers of both parties appear perpetually locked in pitched battle with each other.

The third question for Republican voters to consider is which candidate is most likely to win in November. All three candidates represent a clear break from Shaheen, so it makes sense that the best choice is the candidate with the stature to attract the resources to take on the popular senator.

On all three counts, Scott Brown is the clear choice.

Brown spent three years in the Senate representing Massachusetts after he was the surprise winner of the 2010 special election to replace Edward Kennedy. He lost to Elizabeth Warren in 2012.

During his Senate tenure, Brown earned the respect of colleagues for his work on four important committees: Armed Services, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Veterans’ Affairs.

Brown already knows the Senate players, and they know him. That gives him a distinct advantage over the other candidates – even Bob Smith, the former senator who last served in Congress more than a decade ago. It should not be taken lightly that prominent Republicans endorsing Brown include U.S. Sens. John McCain, of Arizona, and New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte. Both have worked with Brown and respect his abilities.

While serving in the Senate, Brown established himself as a moderate conservative with a common-sense approach to forming public policy. So while he voted with the Republican Party 80 percent of the time, he also took centrist stands on many issues, as evidenced by the American Conservative Union’s lifetime rating of 53 percent and a 2012 rating of 50 percent from the Americans for Democratic Action. That is exactly the kind of well-balanced approach desperately needed in the Senate.

In the end, it all comes down to winning, and to defeat Shaheen, the Republican challenger is going to need deep pockets. Brown is the only Republican in the field capable of raising the money needed to defeat the Democratic incumbent.

At the end of June, Shaheen was sitting on more than $5 million in campaign cash, compared to $414,000 for Rubens and $78,000 for Smith. If Brown wins the nomination, even more money will flow to his campaign.

The biggest knock against Brown is that he’s not a true-blue Granite Stater. But it’s not like he’s from North Dakota or New Mexico. Massachusetts and New Hampshire, in fact, have a long history of cross-border migration, and The New York Times reported last week that the population of Massachusetts-born New Hampshire residents is growing faster than the population born in the state.

The New Hampshire of 2014 is much different than the New Hampshire of even 20 years ago. It is a more diverse and open-minded state that remains fiscally conservative but is decidedly libertarian on social issues.

Scott Brown most closely adheres to those fundamental principals that shape the Granite State’s 21st-century identity.