Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) got himself into a little trouble a few weeks ago, boasting about how important he is. To prove it, the Republican said he’s been “in secret meetings with kings and queens and prime ministers.”
As it turns out, that wasn’t true, and his staff later said he misspoke.
This week, however, Scott’s sense of self-importance once again caused problems.
During a CNN interview that aired Tuesday, Senator Scott Brown said that President Obama and other powerful Democrats are regularly phoning him to get help passing their legislation. […]
“I can name a litany of Democratic-sponsored bills that I’ve done that never would have passed hadn’t it been for me,” Brown told CNN. “And the president had called me, and vice president calls me, and Secretary [of State Hillary Rodham] Clinton calls asking for my vote all the time.”
At a certain level, this hardly seems worth bragging about. Administration officials call members of Congress, hoping to get support on all kinds of measures. But the boast also raised questions about accuracy. Do President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Clinton really call Scott Brown “all the time,” making sure Democratic-sponsored bills become law?
As it turns out, the senator’s staff had to walk this back, too. Asked about these frequent phone calls, Brown aides acknowledged he hasn’t spoken by phone with Clinton in over a year, and she’s only called twice, not “all the time.” He’s also only spoken by phone Biden once – the VP called in 2010 on the New START treaty – and Brown hasn’t fielded any calls from the president in over two years.
The interesting similarity between this and the “kings and queens” story is the underlying insecurity: Brown seems concerned that voters will see him as an unserious politician who lacks substance and depth. Those concerns are well grounded – the senator still struggles badly with the basics of public policy – but Brown isn’t helping his case by exaggerating his duties. Indeed, he’s making matters worse.