Well played, future Ambassador Scott Brown. You gambled, and you won big.
Your prize: Paradise on Earth.
For a while there, it looked like you had no idea what you were doing, politics-wise. But really, it was we who were clueless. You burst onto the scene in 2010, with that surprising victory in a special election to succeed the late US Senator Ted Kennedy. We thought you had no chance, but you showed us, riding your pick-up truck all the way to Washington.
After Elizabeth Warren bested you two years later, you seemed a bit lost. Determined to prove you were more than lightning in a barn coat, you tried to get back into the Senate by moving to New Hampshire, but you lost there, too.
But then, boom! Up you popped again, endorsing Donald Trump before last year’s Republican presidential primary, giving both of you the boost you needed. You came out early, and strong, when few other politicians would go near the man many dismissed as an ignorant, bigoted blowhard.
And Trump loved you for it. Also for your good looks. Looks are very, very important to him: “Central casting,” he said, in awe of your manly mien.
Would President Trump reward you for your loyalty, or cast you aside like Rudy Giuliani or Chris Christie? At first, it seemed to be going badly. He passed you over for VP. Then, after his inauguration, it looked like he might put you in charge of Veterans Affairs, a post you really wanted and might even be good at. Even Warren endorsed you for the job. Despite that — or maybe because of it — Trump chose somebody else.
But it’s now abundantly clear that, even though you lost, you won. I mean, who would want to be Trump’s VP right now, answering for his crazy tweets, racing after him when he leaves a signing ceremony without actually signing anything? Or visiting the North Korean border, apparently to stare at our foes with menace? True, there’s a chance the VP will be president at some point. And you really would rock that leather bomber jacket Mike Pence looked a little silly in. But being attached so closely to Trump’s White House, or to a management nightmare like the VA, is no recipe for success, much less happiness.
And now look at you, in line for what is surely the most heavenly job a president can bestow: ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. My homeland may revoke my Australian citizenship for saying this, but New Zealand is probably the most beautiful country on the planet. Have you seen the “Lord of the Rings’’ movies? The two islands are positively jammed with gorgeousness: emerald hills and impossibly blue seas; snowy mountains and dramatic volcanoes; many sheep and very agreeable people.
Everybody is desperate to get into the place. A recent New Yorker article on rich doomsday preppers found that New Zealand is the refuge of choice if things get cataclysmic here. In the first week after Trump’s election, 13,401 Americans registered with kiwi immigration authorities. Billionaire Trump supporter Peter Thiel won (some say bought) citizenship there in 2011, telling authorities, “I have found no other country that aligns more with my view of the future than New Zealand.” So much for America First.
But for you, the safest place on earth is rolling out the red carpet! It’s not a very Trumpy country, mind. Health care and education are pretty much free. Even those who identify as conservative are progressive by US standards. But if you can stand all of that, your time there will be super cush.
And New Zealand is clearly intrigued by you: “Man tipped for US ambassador role in NZ a former nude model who supports waterboarding,” read a headline in the country’s biggest newspaper. Don’t worry, though, New Zealand is a chill and friendly place. They will forgive anything, it seems. For example, Prime Minister Bill English recently posted a picture of a pizza he made, topped with pineapple and canned spaghetti, and he still has his job.
So, congratulations, sir. I’m sorry for underestimating you. Can we put it behind us? You might even consider unblocking me on Twitter. After all, we’re practically related now.