Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R-Bqhatevwr) is running for the Senate in New Hampshire now, where polls indicate he is the favorite to win the GOP nomination in Tuesday's primary. On the eve of this historic vote, I find myself wondering, "Who is advising Brown on his campaign strategy?" I don't mean, "What GOP officials are handling the nuts and bolts of his campaign?" I mean, "Who or what is giving Brown all of his big ideas?"
Reading this story, from Time's Jay Newton-Small, has left me bewildered about where Brown came up with this plan. In fact, I am just going to make up an explanation: He got this award idea from Jingles The Dragon, an imaginary friend that Brown made up when he was just a 6-year-old boy. That sounds plausible to me because this is one of the strangest things I've ever seen a politician do.
Janice Leahy, a small businesswoman in New Hampshire, still doesn’t understand why Republican senate candidate Scott Brown gave her a “hero” award when they met in May. “I’m an ordinary person,” Leahy tells TIME. “I’m no hero. I don’t look at myself as person of stature or significance or anything else.”
Armed with spreadsheets, Leahy had met with Brown at a diner in Windham to talk about the burden of Obamacare on her small software and professional services businesses. That’s when he presented her with a polished black plaque, emblazoned with the words, “Women for Scott Brown.” A press release followed. “I’m pleased to award Janice with a Hero Award to celebrate her determination to maintain a business despite government red tape and burdensome regulations that make for a very tough environment not only for women-oriented businesses, but for everyone,” Brown said in the statement. “That’s why I support full repeal of Obamacare.”
Newton-Small reports that Leahy has been "left confused and embarrassed by the whole episode."
I'm sort of confused and embarrassed, too! I mean, this was not a mean thing that Brown did, and it's not even a desperate thing -- he's probably going to win the nomination tomorrow, and polls indicate that he'll be competitive in the general election against incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D). It's just odd and awkward.
But the fact remains that somehow, Brown got it into his head that giving this women a "Hero Award" -- and actually going out and getting a plaque made -- was a good idea. ("Slam dunk. Thanks again, Jingles!" is what I imagine Brown said aloud to a room of people who were wondering why he appeared to be talking to a tiny, invisible creature in his suit pocket.)
Here's a true story. I had a friend from high school who graduated a year ahead of me. While he was living in his college dorm freshman year, one of his hall-mates -- a seemingly nice, dim-bulb of a guy -- decided to run for Hall Council, or one of those meaningless college political offices that maybe 4 percent of the student body cares about. This would-be Hall Council candidate's last name was Day, and he told his fellow dorm-mates that he was thinking about making his campaign slogan, "Make my Day."
And one of my friend's friends, trolling Candidate Day, said, "No, no. That's a good slogan, but an even better one would be 'Make my bed.'" And this guy who wanted to be on the Hall Council chewed it over for a minute, and said, "You know what, I like the ring of that," and he went and made all these posters that read "Vote for Day: Make my Bed," and put them up all over the place, leaving the student body confused but relatively unharmed.
That is my only frame of reference for the type of thinking that goes into handing some random lady a "Hero Award." Other than that, I'm genuinely flummoxed.
UPDATE, 9/9/14, 3:41pm: Leahy disputes Newton-Small's characterization that she was "left confused and embarrassed by the whole episode," telling Breitbart's Dan Riehl that Newton-Small engaged in "tabloid journalism," and that her words were "twisted" and "misconstrued."
I remain bewildered by why Brown thought this was a good idea, but hey, congratulations to the "Hero Award" winner.
Read the full Time story here.
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