On Monday night, former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, Republican of Massachusetts, made yet another high-profile appearance in New Hampshire. He has done so many events in the Granite State this year that we half expect to run into him everywhere we go — apple picking, the Deerfield Fair, any random corn maze.
All of that would be fine were Citizen Brown merely partaking of the scenic beauty and rural hospitality of New Hampshire as so many of his fellow Bay Staters do, or helping to build up the New Hampshire GOP's war chest, as any good Republican with national name recognition might do.
But Brown — whose Wrentham, Mass., house is on the market — has let it be known that he is considering a run for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire. Earlier this year he passed on a run for Massachusetts governor, and apparently he needs something to do between FOX News appearances. So he is, at least publicly, toying with the idea of moving to New Hampshire and running against Jeanne Shaheen next year.
All of that is great for Scott Brown. It keeps his name in the news, which surely helps him land clients for his new lobbying job with Nixon Peabody. It is not so great for New Hampshire conservatives.
Every time Brown comes to — or even talks about coming to — New Hampshire, Shaheen's fund-raising machine spins into overdrive. The Shaheen campaign has done one fundraising email a day for the last four days off of Monday's visit alone. Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is using Brown's trips to tap into her donor network to help Shaheen raise money.
As long as he is a suspected candidate for Senate, every time Brown comes to New Hampshire he makes Jeanne Shaheen stronger and the state Republican Party relatively weaker. His penchant for talking incessantly about how often he voted with Democrats while in the Senate does little for GOP morale or fundraising.
Brown needs to either move here and announce a run or state definitively that he will not be a candidate. The ladies love his flirting, it is true, but the one who loves it the most is Jeanne Shaheen. Every time he bats an eye, she cashes a check. He needs to make his intentions clear or turn his big, brown eyes elsewhere.