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editorial

Scott Brown will have a different address, but the same political challenges

WHEN RUNNING for office, one parade blends into another. Flag Day in Quincy becomes the Fourth of July in Chelmsford: the bunting, the smiling store owners, the thumping school band. In such an atmosphere, it’s possible to believe that everyone wants the same things — good jobs, good schools, good kids. For three years, Scott Brown was as much a fixture at these kinds of events along the byways of Massachusetts as fire trucks and Boy Scouts. It was arguably his best platform as senator, showcasing his reassuring smile and telegenic family.

But now that those parades have passed him by, he’s marching up north to New Hampshire. On Monday, Bloomberg News reported that he is selling his longtime home in Wrentham, from which he ran for selectman, state representative, state senator, and US senator from Massachusetts. In most states, such an obviously opportunistic move would present an obstacle to any kind of political future. But Massachusetts and New Hampshire are paired in an interesting way. A rejection of Massachusetts-style taxation and intrusive government is an important part of the New Hampshire narrative. Alas, so too is a deep suspicion of artifice or pretense.

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