Charley and I sat down for about an hour and a half with Alan Khazei today. We covered a lot of ground about the Senate campaign, and we’ll write up the whole conversation in due course.
But his answer to one question was particularly good – and particularly timely, in light of today’s Globe’s front-page article on Scott Brown’s dithering. If you missed it, the Globe hammered Brown’s record of repeatedly failing to lead on just about every issue before the Senate.
Since arriving in the Senate in early 2010, Brown has tended to wait until the final hours of a debate before disclosing his views.
He rarely grants in-depth interviews on substantive subjects. Reporters typically are provided a few brief moments for questions when he walks out of the Senate chamber after a vote and heads for a Capitol exit.
The article does an excellent job of laying out how, on issue after issue, Brown refuses to stake out any kind of position until the last minute – and, sometimes, actually changing positions when it appears that the one he originally took is too politically damaging to him.
I find it impossible not to observe that this is all entirely consistent with my “caboose of the Senate” series, in which Scott Brown’s failure to demonstrate leadership on just about anything is revealed in detail.
Which brings us to Alan Khazei. Charley asked him to sum up the basic “30 second ad” case against Scott Brown. Khazei replied that the biggest problem with Brown was not his voting record, but rather his utter failure to lead. And he’s right.
Some money quotes:
If we default, Scott Brown is personally responsible…. My big beef against Scott Brown isn’t just his voting record. It’s the fact that he had an unprecedented opportunity to be a game-changing leader in America at a time when we are dying for leadership….
Scott Brown should come out of hiding…. What’s your idea? …
He doesn’t know how to lead. He didn’t show any leadership in the State House…. And this idea “well he’s being thoughtful.” No he’s not! He’s waiting to see where the political winds are blowing….
You know what a Scott Brown Republican is? Somebody who doesn’t lead.
Great stuff. Here is the whole answer (which, admittedly, is somewhat longer than 30 seconds). Apologies for the quality of the audio – we were in a rather noisy diner.