Jens 'n' Frens
Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures."
  -- Daniel Webster

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 :::

Some people seem confused about Scott Brown's truck, so I'm going to explain it.

Taken literally, the emphasis on the truck is a bit silly. I doubt Brown would have collected as many votes if they didn't think he knew it was. But the main reason Brown won yesterday is that he was on the same page as the voters in a way that Coakley wasn't. They knew what he meant about the truck, and he knew that they knew.

Allow me to contrast Brown's line about his truck with my favorite Coakley line from the campaign. A reporter asked her if her campaign had been too aloof, especially relative to Scott Brown's campaign. She asked, mockingly, "you mean as opposed to standing outside of Fenway park, shaking hands in the cold?" (That quote is from memory, but it's close.)

Well, yes, actually.

Does it really do anyone any good to have his or her hand shaken by a candidate outside a ballpark (in the cold)? It does not. But it says something about a candidate that he's willing to do that. And, since that sort of thing is pretty standard fare, it says something about a candidate that she's not willing to do that.

Barack Obama noted last weekend, in a speech in support of Coakley, that "everyone can buy a truck." Which isn't literally true, since the credit contraction, but it's true that many people could buy trucks. In fact, a lot of people do buy trucks. Even more people feel like they can relate to politicians who drive trucks. Driving a truck doesn't make Scott Brown different from everyone else — as a matter of fact, that's the point. The truck itself wasn't the theme of the campaign, but it was a concrete symbol of the theme that Scott Brown shares voters' concerns and is willing to work for them.

It's not important that Scott Brown drives a truck; what's important is that he thinks it's a fine thing to drive a truck, to work for a living, to think for oneself, and even to shake hands with voters outside of Fenway park before expecting them to vote for you. Even if it's cold.

UPDATE: Scott says it better. But I really wanted to use Coakley's Fenway gaffe.

::: posted by Steven at 1:03 AM

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Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

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