Opinion Brief

Scott Brown for president?

As the GOP searches for a plausible 2012 frontrunner, eyes are turning towards the JFK-esque senator-elect Scott Brown

If you're hoping to launch a website called Scottbrown2012.com, don't bother. The rights have already been snapped up by one of the growing number of conservatives who consider senator-elect Brown their best shot for president in 2012. While Brown has downplayed the presidential hype — telling Barbara Walters "I don’t even have a business card yet" — he hasn't dismissed the idea. Why should he, ask his supporters, who point to the junior senator's 12 years as a state legislator as proof that he's as qualified as Obama was in 2006. Is Brown a credible presidential prospect, or just the media's "flavor of the month?" (Watch THE WEEK's Sunday Talk Show Briefing about Scott Brown's spot in the GOP)

Forget about it — Brown's pro-choice: Sure, "Scott Brown is the Republican Party's new bicycle," says Michael Roston in True/Slant. But three little words will bar him from joining the GOP's 2012 ticket: Roe v. Wade. Brown's moderately pro-choice stance may boost the party generally — "the GOP needs more Evan Bayhs and Blanche Lincolns and Ben Nelsons, and [fewer] Jim DeMints" — but, as long as he maintains it, he'll never win the Republican primaries.
"Sarah Palin/Scott Brown 2012 ticket? Not gonna happen"

Yes, but Brown has that JFK magic: Brown's position on abortion and other social issues may challenge conventional GOP wisdom, says Peter Worthington in the Toronto Sun. But his pockets of leftiness may not matter when you factor in his winning personality and presence — so "reminiscent of Jack Kennedy." Plus, Brown is pure GOP on other core conservative issues: defense and security.
"Scott Brown rides Republican wave"

For Brown, it's now or never: The "Brown 4 Prez" talk isn't as "absurdly premature" as it sounds at first blush, says Andrew Romano in Newsweek; in fact, if Brown's looking to cash in on his Obama parallels, time may be of the essence. After all, the longer he's in the Senate, the more he will look "inauthentic" and lose his "core 'guy next door' appeal."
"Absurdly premature 2012 watch: Why Scott Brown should run for president"

Welcome to "American Idol" politics: If Brown has a shot, says Taylor Marsh in her blog, it's because "resume and policy are puny substitutes for the 'it' factor" in American politics today. The "political star quality" quotient explains why Sarah Palin is probably Brown's biggest rival for the 2012 nomination, even though, ideologically, she's his "polar opposite."
"Everybody is a star"

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SEE THE WEEK'S LATEST COVERAGE OF SCOTT BROWN:
Is Scott Brown 'creepy'?
Scott Brown: Model republican?
Scott Brown: 5 key facts
Video: SNL's controversial Scott Brown sketch

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