From the Right: Scott Brown, New Hampshire and Obamacare
Scott Brown began a listening tour the day after announcing his exploratory committee to run for the Senate in ... New Hampshire! For a man trying to ditch the carpetbagger label this may be the way to do it. Rather than outright declaring, Brown is touring, talking and listening to the people of New Hampshire, similar to what Hillary Clinton did when she ran for the Senate in New York. Hillary and Scott Brown are far from political comrades, but the comparison is worthy of note.
Interestingly, Hillary faced a tougher battle than Scott Brown, having never been born or lived in New York. Brown at least has roots in New Hampshire and a sense of humility and modesty will serve him well. He has the name ID and the campaign apparatus. He needs to make his case that he is the best person to replace Jeanne Shaheen in a field of Republicans who will try to define him, for the lack of a better word, as a RINO (Republican in Name Only).
Still, I think a Brown candidacy can win in New Hampshire. He isn't a bitter partisan. He's a pragmatist - a man looking to bring people together and focus on common sense solutions to many of the daunting challenges facing our nation. He's a traditional Republican; the kind of Republicans that once dominated all throughout New England. And Brown candidacy and victory in New Hampshire may bring about the Republican renaissance we sorely need.
To bolster the affection of some in the Republican electorate who may be tepid towards his candidacy, there is one issue that unites all Republicans from the grassroots to the so-called establishment: Obamacare. It's bad policy. It's bad healthcare. It's bad for America. It's been proven. Democrats lose when they embrace Obamacare. They lost in a special election in Florida and no doubt it played a small role in the special election for Executive Council. Democrats can't defend it, can't save it and will suffer the electoral consequences because of it.
The fact that the president keeps altering and delaying part of the law showcases the failures of the law. Democrats can try to outrun it, but they can't hide from it. Jeanne Shaheen avoids talking about it, and I can see why. Obamacare is gum on the Democrats' shoe. It's mashed in there real good and even if they try to scrape it off it still remains stuck to the sole. Obamacare is a gift to the Republicans; Christmas comes early if you will.
Ironically it was four years ago in 2010 that Obamacare swept the Republicans into control of the House and in 2014 the gift that keeps on giving will carry the Republicans back across the finish line again. Jeanne Shaheen echoed President Obama by saying, "If you like your health insurance you can keep it." She can't backtrack on her words - she he what she said and so Obamacare will be the central issue of the 2014 campaign.
What do Democrats have to run on? Sadly they have nothing. Their focus is twisted in the failed web of Obamacare. The vote for Obamacare is a vote of fate and a harbinger for November.
Back to Scott Brown. He has a way to go, but I think if he presents himself as he did in 2010, he'll win in New Hampshire and he'll win by focusing on the very issue that won him the Senate in Massachusetts: Obamacare.
Phil Boynton is a senior political science major and resident of the UNH College Republicans.
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