I went to Scott Brown’s reelection campaign kick-off Thursday night. WHAT A SNOOZER. But it was entertaining to watch his attempt at stagecraft.
The sidewalk was almost empty outside Worcester’s Mechanics Hall when I arrived about 5 pm. The event didn’t even warrant more than a few protesters, and they were busy being interviewed by new crews when I walked by.
Parked immediately in front of the Hall’s door was a little vehicle with a rotating speaker on top. The looped Scott Brown monologue it was broadcasting over and over echoed down the darkened, nearly-empty streets. Orwellian creepy.
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The volunteers just inside the door were doing their duty trying to get everyone to “sign in” before proceeding. The one that homed in on me was dedicated to completing her task to the point of being offensive.
The little sign-in sheets invite you to “join one or more of the Coalitions to support Scott Brown”. Here are the options, in the order offered. I can only guess that many listed were for show – a nod to needing to look diverse: Veterans, Women, Democrats, Independents, Conservatives, Students/Youth, African Americans, Hispanics, Sportsmen, Attorneys, Catholics, Jewish, Small Business Leaders, Elected Officials, Union Members
As usual for this kind of event, supporters were placed on risers behind Brown on stage. The staff carefully arranged the only black person (a little girl with a white parent/guardian) and the only Asian person in the room in the front row on stage so when the cameras were on Brown, they would show how “diverse” his support is. Worcester is 30% not-white, but everyone in that room was as white as I was except for those two brown people. White and middle-aged. I blended right in.
You can see the African-American girl in this picture immediately behind and to the right of Brown. The Asian woman is further right, wearing a red top and black skirt. They can be more clearly seen in this video.
Also amusing was watching the staff hand out “home-made signs” for people to wave. What you want to bet that if you look at pictures from his recent public rah-rah events, you’ll see the exact same signs made of white poster board?
The event started with one of his daughters leading us in the National Anthem a cappella, then his wife gave a short speech that included little “He’s got my vote but I made him work for it” type jokes. Standard fare.
I’ve seen press reports that Brown’s speech was fiery, but honestly I was distracted by his constantly breaking character during pauses in serious parts of the speech to smile and wave at people in the balcony. Something that did cut through the fog though was the inanity of this statement he made: “The reason the government has lost all credibility in stopping illegal immigration is because of the magnets we create like in-state tuition breaks that bring more people here in violation of the law.”
The hall was pretty full but I wouldn’t call it packed. And although the crowd of course loved him, there wasn’t the kind of electric energy in the room I’d expect from a campaign kick-off. He’s definitely still got supporters, but if this crowd was representative, I’d say this supporters aren’t as fired up as maybe they once were.
He is really good looking though. No doubt about it.
Cross-posted at Blue Mass Group.