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Scott Brown's Paul Wellstone strategy

I knew it was deja vu all over again when I kept hearing the story, which has taken on the patina of legend, about how Massachusetts Sen.-elect Scott Brown traveled all over the Bay State in a green pick-up truck. An initial lack of funds and lack of poll support necessitated such a move.

The late Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.), my professor at Carleton College, rolled into the U.S. Senate in 1990 aboard a beat up green school bus. He traveled all over the Land of 10,000 Lakes securing the votes of Minnesotans. And just as Brown did 20 years later, Wellstone shocked the political establishment with a come-from-out-of-nowhere victory. Wellstone and his wife were killed while campaigning for reelection when their plane crashed in 2002.

So, the enduring political lesson in the Brown-Wellstone model is this: work hard for every vote and do so from the green vehicle of your choice.

By Jonathan Capehart  | January 22, 2010; 11:28 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Brown is no Wellstone.

Posted by: jckdoors | January 22, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Correct, Wellston was a leftist pig whereas Brown is a stud.

Posted by: DCer1 | January 22, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Indeed, Brown is no Wellstone.

Scott Brown=Greg Ballard, the current mayor of Indianapolis who rode a wave of populist anger over property taxes to surprise heavily favored incumbent Bart Peterson. He has since struggled to articulate a vision, let alone push the Indiana Republican establishment in a new direction.

Posted by: tmass | January 22, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Scott Brown is a stud? He's a thick block of wood? Please let's give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he is what he purports to be, an independent, since he was afraid to proclaim himself as a Republican. He spoke well at his acceptance speech, especially when paying tribute to Teddy Kennedy. His comments about the availability of his daughters didn't creep me out like they did Glenn Beck, who says that Senator-elect Brown should wear a chastity belt and that "this with end up with a dead intern" whatever that is supposed to mean. I'm disappointed that Brown campaigned as no. 41 to indicate his spoiler role in killing the already-passed health care reform plan. Seems like bad sport to negate a vote already done and over with. Even worse, it seems rather hypocritical since Brown supports the universal coverage and mandated insurance in his own state, but the rest of the country doesn't deserve a very similar plan. But let's give him a chance. If he really is a "stud" he will fit right in with the GOP and their infidelities, hypocrisy and faux-populism.

Posted by: wilsonjmichael | January 22, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Timing is everything. My guess is his relative anonymity played into his win. This was a protest vote if there ever was one. My guess is he knows it, and doesn't have delusions that it was his expert campaigning or great message that won. He seems normal enought. I'll be curious to see how he handles himself. By the look of it, the GOP will be thrusting him all over the TV looking for some luck to rub off. Let's all hope he is not just a new Joe the Plumber. I chuckle that some GOP folks I know are convinced he should run for PRESIDENT in 2012. Wow.

Posted by: steveboyington | January 22, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

DCer1, being a stud is suitable if you're going to work as a male prostitute. Or a Republican member of Congress. No difference. Big money will soon purchase his services.

Posted by: curtb | January 22, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Paul "Welfare" was tree hugging far left DFL-er who never encountered someone else's money he did not want to redistribute.

What else from the stae which went for Dukakis, McGovern, Humphrey, "Fritz" Mondale, and -most absmally-the Saturday Night Loser.

Posted by: F-4Phantom | January 22, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

The republicans are by no means "original" in any way. They take from here and there and re-package it. Using a green pick-up because there was a lack of funds???...give me a break. It's along the same line as packaging GWB as a "cowboy" who could relate to the "common man" all the while banking on the ignorance of the voter that does not vet the candidate he votes for. Special elections are notorious for low voter turnouts and the Democrats were asleep at the wheel. I have to hand it to the T-baggers and the repos...they were united...once again...and put out a lot of half-truths and outright lies. Ignorance of how Washington works, lack of historical perspective, lack of knowledge about HOW WE GOT INTO THE MESS WE ARE IN and WHO BROUGHT US TO THIS CRITICAL TIME all came together to elect Brown. Again, it is a real travesty and monumental tragedy that Brown replaced a venerated Ted Kennedy, Lion of the Senate. Brown will NEVER come near accomplishing what Senator Ted Kennedy accomplished (or ANY of the Kennedy's for that matter) while in public office. When Ted Kennedy campaigned, he set out what programs, plans, and proposals (and how they would be carried out)he had in mind for his constituents (and the nation at large) as opposed to Brown who campaigned on how he was going to "KILL" the health care reform legislation, which was a career long pursuit of Senator Kennedy's that he was never able to achieve much to his dismay. He cared about the 47 million uninsured Americans and somehow Brown left me with the impression that he simply did not give a d---. Senator Kennedy in his dying days expressed hope for the current health care reform. I am sure he is shaking his head in heaven at what has recently transpired in Massachusetts and on capitol hill.

A crying shame!

Posted by: politico5 | January 22, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

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