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Let the fur fly

IT WAS disheartening to read that Scott Brown already feels he’s the underdog in the upcoming Senate election (“Brown seeks underdog role,’’ Metro, Dec. 29), even though the primary election to determine his opponent has yet to be held. I think the senator is barking up the wrong tree.

According to Wikipedia’s summary of election results, between 2004 and 2010 the re-election rate for incumbent US senators averaged 86.4 percent. That’s a lot of ground to give up in just one year of field trials, especially for a former show dog and champion, but Brown claims to have done it.

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Perhaps he should instead reframe his recent record, and emphasize the obedience to his handlers and willingness to run with the pack that have defined his senatorial style. The sympathy vote might yet propel him to another so-called upset victory.

Unfortunately, even this approach is not without risk, especially if a lot of hunters turn out for the election.

As any good hunter will tell you, the only thing you can do with a dog that won’t hunt is replace him with one that will.

Thomas P. Widmer

North Reading
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