The Corner

This Wasn’t Supposed to Happen

Around Christmas time, Scott Brown was nothing like a household name. Things changed, and rather quickly. With a smart tax-cut ad featuring JFK. With a Christmas Day bombing attempt that Brown responded to quickly and forcefully. With a winning “people’s seat” line. With a shocking surge in the polls. With a president flying in to attempt to rescue the flailing Democratic candidate.

Keeping the Brown campaign together and dealing with the sudden national media attention were senior Brown aides Peter Flaherty and Eric Fehrnstrom, both of whom are longtime aides to former governor Mitt Romney and successful professionals themselves (in law and journalism, respectively).

One of the raps against Romney is that there wasn’t much life left in the Massachusetts GOP beyond him. Although Romney didn’t campaign personally for Brown — I wouldn’t be shocked to learn that that was a campaign decision — he did just about everything else for him, including fundraising and lending Brown his campaign team. 

Last night, at the victory party, when Brown thanked Romney, Romney was one of the crowd. It wasn’t Romney’s moment, and he knew it. But I suspect the moment didn’t hurt him. It might have, had Romney been standing behind Brown. But he wasn’t. Romney was not pretending to be a kingmaker. He was just being who he is — a team player, with an acumen for problem-solving, and with the experience and resources that come in handy when you’re trying to launch a turnaround operation.

By the way: Brown’s great tax-cut ad, which Mary Matalin says should be all our screensavers, can be viewed here:

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