A sleep-deprived but smiling Scott P. Brown met reporters today and said that because of his overwhelming victory on Tuesday he should be seated in the US Senate before the election results are certified.
Brown's campaign counsel sent a letter today to Secretary of State William F. Galvin requesting a copy of the unofficial results, a request that Galvin has indicated he will honor. The Republican's margin of victory far exceeds the number of outstanding absentee ballots, which leaves no question who won the special election to finish the term of the late Edward M. Kennedy.
"Since the election is not in doubt, I'm hopeful the Senate will seat me on the basis of those unofficial returns just as they did for Ted Kennedy in 1962," Brown told five dozen reporters at a press conference at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. He added, "I have great trust in Secretary Galvin. I think everybody knows this is an overwhelming victory."
Brown will travel to Washington on Thursday, he said, for a "courtesy call" to meet with Republican leaders including Senator John McCain of Arizona and to check in with the other members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, all of whom are Democrats. He demurred when asked about his top priority when he arrives on Capitol Hill.
"I think people need to give me a chance to do a little bit of a transition, see what's on the agenda. I'll look at every bill for its merits and how it affects our state and then I'll make a decision," Brown said. "To say am I going to do this or am I going to do that, it's really not appropriate right now. I'd just appreciate the opportunity just to get down there, open up an office, get a staff together."
During the 15-minute press conference today, Brown sounded many of the themes from his campaign, talking about his independence; the need for greater transparency in government; cutting taxes and curbing spending; his objection to recognizing Constitutional rights for terrorism suspects, and the "one-size-fits-all" national health care plan "doesn't work."
Brown equivocated when asked about the national implications of his decisive victory, saying he would leave the prognosticating up to the pundits. He stressed that he had a "big-tent philosophy" when questioned about how he would avoid the entrenched partisan divisions in Congress.
"I was asked [during the campaign] many times what kind of Republican I would be. I really didn't know how to answer that so I just said, 'I'm going to be a Scott Brown Republican,'" he said. "Maybe there is a new breed of Republican coming to Washington. Maybe people will finally look at somebody who is not beholden to the special interests of the party and will look just to solve problems. "
He rejected a reporter's question about whether he was of "presidential timber," saying, "I haven't even been down to Washington yet."
"I'm just honored to be in this position," Brown said, adding, "I can't tell you how proud I am to be here standing before you all. And having am opportunity to send the country in a different and better direction. That's my goal."
On the beat
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