Michael Jordan once said, “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” If there is one person in the U.S. Senate race who has proven that he has followed that advice it is Scott Brown.
In 2004 when then State Senator Cheryl Jacques announced she’d be leaving her seat, her hand picked successor Angus McQuilken looked to have a straight shot to Beacon Hill. A funny thing happened along Angus’s way, the State Representative Scott Brown. The Democratic Party through the legislature put up every obstacle they could think of to keep a Republican from winning that seat. The main obstacle they put up was scheduling the special election on the day of the 2004 Presidential Primary. In 2004 George Bush ran virtually unopposed in the GOP primary, and John Kerry, a Massachusetts native, was running in the Democratic primary. The Boston Herald on February 25, 2004 had the following to say about the race in an editorial:
Rep. Scott Brown must overcome a near perfect storm of obstacles to win a seat in the state Senate when voters go to the polls in the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District a week from today. But if anyone can, it’s this 24-year veteran of the Army National Guard and accomplished fighter in more than a few political wars.
Brown is an avowed fiscal conservative and tax cutter. He opposed freezing the income tax roll-back, fought against giving unfettered power to House Speaker Tom Finneran to grant leadership pay raises and stood solidly behind ballot questions to implement English immersion and Clean Elections….
Brown’s record shouldn’t get lost in all the shenanigans and distractions which have marked this special election. Democratic power brokers, fearful of losing Cheryl Jacques’ Senate seat, plotted to ensure the special election would fall on Super Tuesday, guaranteeing a heavy Democratic turnout….
All of this would make a lesser candidate wilt in despair, but Brown has only grown more determined.
It’s a leader with that kind of determination Romney and the voters of the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District need in their corner. The Boston Herald is pleased to endorse Scott Brown for Senate.
The Herald was absolutely right, and the State Democratic power-brokers were absolutely wrong.
I had the pleasure of helping out on that campaign in 2004. I spent every weekend for six weeks in North Attleboro doing whatever was asked of me. Scott’s frankness with the voters of the district won over many. I’ve heard stories of his staff cringing during debates, when Scott would give one of his trademark off the cuff answers, but the voters of the district responded to his honesty and freshness. Scott worked his tail off in that race, and out hustled, out worked, out thought, and out raised the odds on favorite Angus McQuilken.
The final weekend of the race should be used as a case study on how to run a get-out-the-vote effort. Phone banks were set up throughout the district where close to a hundred thousand phone calls were made in less than 72 hours. I was a phone bank captain, and can remember volunteers coming to me saying, “these people said they’ve been called two, three and even four times, shouldn’t we get new names?” It was during this campaign that I learned that if you’re not getting complaints about the number of calls you’ve not reached those people enough.
Going in to the final 24 hours nobody knew if Scott could pull it off. We had done the work, and our GOTV efforts were in high gear. The evening of the election the ballroom where we were assembled was packed, the early returns were overwhelmingly favoring Angus McQuilken. Going in to the last town to report Scott was down significantly. The last town was his hometown of Wrentham, but we didn’t think there would be enough votes there. The assembled activists had resigned themselves to the fact that we came close but the Democrats and their games had cost us another seat. However the improbable happened. Scott had won Wrentham by enough votes to overcome the deficit and win by over 300 votes.
That’s right, Scott Brown a Republican in Massachusetts won a special election on the day of the Democratic Primary in 2004. A primary in which favored son John Kerry was on the ballot. Scott overcame those odds through determination, hard-work, and the best field organization any Republican in the past decade has deployed in Massachusetts.
In November of that year Scott was again challenged by Angus McQuilken. Scott again was victorious even though hometown Presidential Candidate John Kerry was again on the ballot.
There is no Republican I would rather see in this race than Scott Brown, he works his ass off, has the loyalty of many Republican Activists, and plows through any obstacle put in his way. They say that lightning doesn’t strike twice, in Scott’s case I think it will.