When Edward M. Kennedy first ran for the Senate in 1962, his campaign slogan boasted of his White House connections: “He Can Do More for Massachusetts.” The media wholeheartedly endorsed him for that reason.
In today’s race for the seat Kennedy occupied for decades, there is a parallel. Senator Scott Brown is the only Republican in the state’s delegation. If Mitt Romney is elected president, Brown could be the only delegation member with a White House blessing to open the doors of the federal bureaucracy, not only to access decision-makers but to exert real influence.
The effectiveness of any new member of Congress to expedite projects and garner research and program funds depends largely on whether he or she parties with the in group or the out group. And if the GOP captures the Senate, then Brown’s reach would inflate and that of Elizabeth Warren, if she defeats Brown, would decline significantly. What’s more, Warren would march to the same progressive drumbeat as the rest of the delegation, so she merely echoes the chorus.
Both candidates have sterling credentials, but only Brown offers another perspective. If he loses, Massachusetts loses its only true independent voice.