NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

April 12, 2014

In Sununu, Scott Brown has a potent ally

Bill Plante
Newburyport Daily News

---- — Big Freddy was creasing all three chins with a grin as he joined me for coffee and whatever, so I asked whether he had won one at some track.

“Not yet,” he said. “The sun is shining, birds are singing, the snow is gone, and we’re about to have two races no track could handle.”

“The Boston Marathon for one and let us pray for nothing like what happened last year,” I said.

“Amen to that,” Freddy said.

“But the other is Scott Brown against New Hampshire’s Senator Jeanne Shaheen, and that one’s going be full of political fireworks.”

“No comparison,” I said. “They’ll be watching this marathon from coast to coast.”

“But they’ll be watching the Brown-Shaheen race for U.S. Senate border to border until the final go down in September,” Freddy said.

“Brown has to win the primary first,” I said.

“He has to get rid of the carpet bagger thing for moving from Massachusetts to New Hampshire to run for another Senate seat, and it’s no sure thing he’ll beat the others running against Shaheen.”

“She’s already running against him, and that downgrades the other Republican wannabees,” Freddy said.

“Who Brown has to beat first in the primary, “ I said.

“But he has John Sununu who Shaheen beat leading his parade,” Freddy said.

“Sununu’s a pretty conservative Republican,” I said.

“Correct,” Freddy said.

“And that’s going to help Brown how?” I asked.

“Brown’s not,” Freddy said. “He’s a middle of the road Republican.

“Sununu edged his way to win New Hampshire. Had a strong six years, but loses to Shaheen.

“That’s good for starters for Brown because he knows what defeated him.

“He also knows what Shaheen’s done, or hasn’t done that’s turned off some of those who voted for her. That’s no small asset when it comes to campaigning.”

“But there’s no denying Brown has a carpet bagger problem as a newcomer to New Hampshire, even though he spent his early years there,” I said.

“Yes, but he also served as a Massachusetts senator, and a lot of Massachusetts families have moved to New Hampshire,” Freddy said.

“America’s full of people on the move, and some are politicians.

“Most aren’t. They move from one state to another for all kinds of reasons -- especially from Massachusetts to New Hampshire either to get away from our state income tax or to ‘Live Free or Die’.

“That’ s why there’s so much traffic twice a day from there to here and back again on Route 93.”

“Be that as it may, Shaheen beat Sununu and he’s no political lightweight,” I said.

“But he knows what beat him and why, and what Brown needs to do to win,” Freddy said.

“So you’re saying he has a pretty good shot?” I asked.

“A shot in New Hampshire? Sununu will provide the targets, but it will depend on Brown’s aim,” Freddy said.

Bill Plante is a Newbury resident and former executive editor of The Daily News.