Thursday, January 21, 2010

The new Senator from Massachusetts

The Wall Street Journal Iain Martin
The world is going to hear a lot more about Scott Brown, the surprise winner of Teddy Kennedy’s old seat in Massachusetts. (...) As he begins his journey - which ends up with him either in the the White House, brought down soon under the weight of intense media pressure or ending up somewhere in-between in relative obscurity - it’s worth laying out what we know about him so far.
1) His chirpy daughter Ayla was a contestant on American Idol (Series 5, apparently). (...)
2) Scott’s parents got divorced and then both remarried (to other people) three times.
3) Aged 12 he was arrested for shop-lifting.
4) This is the interesting fact that has received the most attention, but it is interesting nonetheless. In 1982 he posed naked for Cosmopolitan and was named “sexiest man”. Teddy Kennedy would have liked this accolade, and behaved often as though he was convinced he was the “sexiest man”, but he wasn’t ever actually the “sexiest man” in Cosmopolitan. Brown was.
5) Brown is amusing, intentionally. This is rare in politics. (...)
PS: Not a fact this, just an observation from afar. But what do we suppose Sarah Palin makes of Scott Brown? (...:)
Guardian James Meikle
Scott Brown, who described himself as a "long shot" only last week, has come a long way since posing as a Cosmopolitan centrefold when he was a student. (...)
Brown is considered one of the more conservative members of the Democratic-led Massachusetts senate. He has served in the US army's National Guard for 30 years, although he has never been deployed to a war zone. His defence of waterboarding – simulated drowning, a now-banned interrogation technique for terror suspects – and denial that it was torture sparked fury among Democrats, as did his belief that terror suspects should be not be represented by "taxpayer-funded" lawyers in US courtrooms.
He has regularly upset gay activists, but claims this is unfair because he favours civil unions but not gay marriages. His stance, he says, is the same as that of Barack Obama. Brown says he is basically in favour of abortion rights, although against the procedure called "partial-birth" abortion and strongly in favour of parental consent.
In 2006 he supported healthcare reforms in Massachusetts that bear some resemblance to the Senate bill passed before Christmas, but has pledged to oppose Obama's reforms in Congress, saying they are too costly and would interfere with his state's arrangements. "One thing is clear – voters do not want the trillion-dollar healthcare bill that is being forced on the American people," he said. Months ago he promised that: "I'm going to be the only person down there [in Washington] who is going to be the independent voter and thinker."

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