Former Massachusetts U.S. Senator Scott Brown walks into a crowd of supporters after announcing his plans to run for U.S. Senator in New Hampshire, April 10, 2014 in Portsmouth, N.H.
Jim Cole/AP Photo

Scott Brown still struggling badly with the basics

Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), on the campaign trail in New Hampshire, talking about health care policy.
At one stop, he suggested repealing Obamacare but letting New Hampshire’s beneficiaries be “grandfathered in” so they don’t lose coverage.
Former Sen. Scott Brown’s (R-Mass.) spokesperson, also on the campaign trail in New Hampshire, almost immediately thereafter:
A spokeswoman walked that back in a subsequent conversation. “You can’t grandfather people from something you’re fully repealing,” she said, emphasizing Brown’s intent to wipe out Obamacare before entertaining a replacement.
Remember, Scott Brown isn’t a novice. He’s a former U.S. senator. He’s run for statewide office three times – in two states – over just four years, giving him plenty of time to hone his skills as a candidate and answer glaringly obvious questions. He’s basing much of his campaign platform on health care policy, despite the fact that he doesn’t actually have a health care policy of his own and doesn’t seem to have the foggiest idea what he’s talking about when addressing the health care policy he ostensibly opposes.
In this case, I’m not altogether sure what he was even trying to say. Brown seems to realize there are many Americans who currently benefit from the Affordable Care Act, and he also seems to realize they’d suffer if he successfully repeals the entirety of the law. So maybe they’d be “grandfathered in”? How would that work, exactly? According to his own aide, it wouldn’t work at all, which is why we’re apparently supposed to disregard what the candidate says about the candidate’s policy positions.
Meanwhile, Brown refuses to give an opinion on Medicaid expansion in his new, adopted home state of New Hampshire, which again, is an odd posture for a candidate basing his Senate campaign on health care policy.
Greg Sargent called it “epic buffoonery,” which seems more than fair under the circumstances.
In the meantime, Brown continues to face questions as to why he lobbied his former colleagues to kill an energy-efficiency bill sponsored by his rival, incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.). Ryan Grim reported yesterday on Brown reaching out to the New Hampshire senator he’d serve with if he’s elected, who apparently didn’t find him especially persuasive.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) explained Thursday why she voted to support legislation by her Democratic counterpart, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), despite a call from a fellow Republican who opposed the bill.
“I just did what I thought was best based on my state and voted the way I thought I should,” Ayotte told The Huffington Post.
The headline on Grim’s piece probably isn’t the one Brown was hoping for: “Kelly Ayotte Says She Ignored Scott Brown’s Wishes For The Good Of New Hampshire.”
Meanwhile, Brown was in Las Vegas last night, appearing “before some of the wealthiest people on earth at the annual hedge fund confab at the Bellagio Hotel.” The former senator was paid for his appearance, though his campaign refused to say how much.
Brown was seen “sipping beer and wine at the conference’s poolside masquerade party,” not far from “a French clown on a pogo stick.”