Scott Brown Doesn’t Care Which Party Ends Up Controlling The Senate

Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown says he’s not all that interested in which party ends up controlling the Senate:

The Massachusetts senate race is one of the most important to Republicans keen on recapturing control of the Senate. But incumbent GOP Sen. Scott Brown says it doesn’t much matter to him which party wins the majority in Washington.

“For me it doesn’t really matter who’s in charge,” says the junior senator, who adds the real problem is the dwindling number of moderate Democrats and Republicans in the Senate.

“You still need to get to 60 votes,” says Brown. “I’m tired of the gridlock. It makes me just so disgusted to walk in there and see, you know, the usual spotting on votes on both sides.”

Brown says if Republicans gain control of the Senate, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the current minority leader, will still have to “earn my vote.”

“I’m not going to be happy with the gridlock that we’ve had, so I’m going to wait and see and see who emerges, see if anyone’s going to challenge him, and then I’ll figure it out,” says the junior senator, who agrees that McConnell bears some of the blame for the constant obstruction.

There’s politics involved in these statements, of course. Brown has spent this campaign doing everything possible to distance himself from Senate Republicans and vowing to remain an independent voice in the Senate. It’s a message that could work for him, but as I’ve said before I’ve been skeptical about his chances of being re-elected from the beginning. He’s running in a state where the Republican Presidential ticket is going to get trounced by double digits in the popular vote. That’s going to be a heavy burden for him to overcome and it’s amazing that he’s been able to keep the race as close as it remains. Nonetheless, RealClearPolitics currently has the race as a +4.7 point advantage for Elizabeth Warren in the poll average. That strikes me as a sign that he’s going to have a tough time pulling off a victory.

Interestingly, if President Obama gets re-elected it’s possible that we’ll see Brown back in the Senate even if he loses in November. One of the leading candidates to replace Hillary Clinton at the State Department is Massachusetts Senator John Kerry. If that happens, Brown would likely be the favorite to replace him in a Special Election which, of course, is how he got into the Senate in 2010.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Jr says:

    Of course he doesn’t care, he isn’t going to be in the Senate after January 20th.

  2. legion says:

    Brown has spent this campaign doing everything possible to distance himself from Senate Republicans and vowing to remain an independent voice in the Senate

    Exactly. And from what I’ve read of the debates, Warren has done a pretty good job of pointing out that he’s not actually the slightest bit “independent”. Brown’s statement has the smell of desperation.

  3. David M says:

    I think it’s definitely a signal that he thinks he’s behind in the race. As far as replacing Kerry, I know there would be a replacement Senator for a while, does anyone know how long it would be until the special election?

  4. Geek, Esq. says:

    I’m sure that’ll help him win the Republican nomination for the hypothetical open seat.

    This guy is a lower-grade version of Romney–not quite as effective in his lack of principle.

  5. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Could be the concession speech already is drafted. Could be the internal polling is closer than the media polling and Brown is trying to appeal to folks who might be inclined to vote for him but are worried that that would be a de facto vote for McConnell to be Majority Leader. Or it could be we’re making a mountain out of the molehill of an off the cuff comment by a guy who’s going in four different directions at once.

  6. gVOR08 says:

    “…it’s amazing that he’s been able to keep the race as close as it remains.”

    Not from what I’ve seen about his funding advantage. Sort of like Josh Mandel against Sherrod Brown here in Ohio. A really poor candidate kept within a single digit margin only by massive out of state money.

  7. rudderpedals says:

    “For me it doesn’t really matter who’s in charge,” says the junior senator, who adds the real problem is the dwindling number of moderate Democrats and Republicans in the Senate.

    Brown says if Republicans gain control of the Senate, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the current minority leader, will still have to “earn my vote.”

    How likely is it – really – that control is not a factor for the Senator or that McConnell need do more than show up to earn his vote? It’s boggles credulity. He needs to be called out on this.

  8. Tano says:

    Unfortunately for Mr. Brown, the people of Massachusetts do care about which party controls the Senate.

  9. JohnMcC says:

    @David M: Perhaps there’s a date established by the Massachusetts constitution or election laws that I didn’t find (because I didn’t look) but the death of Sen Kennedy occurred on Aug 25, ’09 and the election of Sen Brown was Jan 19, ’10. So it took Mass about four months to hold their special election.

    And regarding Mr Brown’s statement about Mr McConnell having to ‘earn his vote’ : there is a binomial choice. Does he expect anyone to believe he might caucus with the other side? It’s a remark much stupider that anything Joe Biden has said.

    But Mr Mataconis thought it was worth remarking on.

  10. sam says:

    ” Brown would likely be the favorite to replace him in a Special Election which, of course, is how he got into the Senate in 2010.”

    How did you arrive at that conclusion?

  11. Dave Anderson says:

    Yeah, second to Sam:

    “One of the leading candidates to replace Hillary Clinton at the State Department is Massachusetts Senator John Kerry. If that happens, Brown would likely be the favorite to replace him in a Special Election which, of course, is how he got into the Senate in 2010.”

    Why would he be a favorite in February or March 2013 as he is already damaged goods. He has a track record of being a reliable Republican vote from a very Democratic leaning state, and in this scenario, he would have lost to what most people in the fall of 2011 considered a second tier opponent. What happens if/when 1st tier Democratic candidates get into the race? I am assuming at least several current Congress-critters have already asked their pollsters to prep a poll for Thanksgiving or so to test several special election scenarios. Dems won’t be caught by surprise, and they’ll be riding a much better economy and no controversial healthcare law fight.

  12. Nam Marine says:

    Then he won’t care if NO ONE ever votes for him again!

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Dave Anderson:

    “One of the leading candidates to replace Hillary Clinton at the State Department is Massachusetts Senator John Kerry. If that happens, Brown would likely be the favorite to replace him in a Special Election which, of course, is how he got into the Senate in 2010.”

    Me three. There is a word for people who lose elections: Loser. Americans don’t like losers. They can come back and be winners (see Nixon, Richard) but Tricky Dick had 8 yrs to rescue his political life. Scott Brown won’t have 8 months to do the same.