In ads, Scott Brown obscures his GOP identity
In Washington, the race between Senator Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren is a key battle in a partisan war over who controls the Senate. But in the world of Brown’s television commercials, his website, and his speeches, the senator’s political party is often barely visible.
His three newest advertisements feature Democratic endorsers, all of whom identify their own party prominently, without mentioning Brown’s Republican allegiance at all.
“I’m a Democrat, but I’m tired of all the polarization, the pettiness, and the bickering,” Ray Flynn, the former mayor of Boston, tells the camera, in a Brown ad played repeatedly during the Olympics.
In the highly polarized realm of national politics, his public coziness with Democrats is an anomaly. But in Massachusetts, it is a necessity, especially in a presidential year in a state where President Obama is expected to defeat Republican Mitt Romney by a significant margin. Democrats hold a distinct voter registration advantage in Massachusetts, more than three to one, though the majority of voters are not in a political party.
With the Democratic testimonials, Brown is hoping to give Democrats interested in his candidacy a comfort level, said Joseph D. Malone, a former state treasurer and one of a small group in the GOP to win statewide constitutional office in the modern era. That’s why the ads — both on television and radio — are devoid of ideological content, instead depicting Brown as “more a friend and neighbor,” Malone said.
“Many Democrats are people who will tell you, ‘I’m a Democrat, my father was a Democrat, my mother was a Democrat.’ It’s just something they inherited,” Malone said. “He’s saying, ‘It’s OK to stray from your cultural roots to vote for this Republican.’ ”