Senator-elect Scott Brown sat down with a pair of Globe reporters in his State House office yesterday for a half-hour interview. Here are excerpts.
Barbara Walters, Jay Leno, all this attention. What is the psychology of it like?
I try to just be myself. Like today, I got up, I rode the bike for an hour, watched TV, read the newspapers, you know, and then spent a little time with the dogs, got them all settled up, gave Gail a kiss and went to the gym, did a swim, and then I came in here. I’ve been meeting with you guys, I’m going to caucus. The only different thing is, I’m doing Leno.
How do you maintain that energy, when there’s a feeling that you’ve shaken up the national political landscape?
I get up and do my things I’ve always done for the last 30 years. I go to the [same] restaurant, I get the same breakfast, the only thing different is now it’s the Scott Brown Special. It’s still the same thing I’ve always ordered. OK, they can change the name and fluff it up, but I still go to the Y, I still wear my junky clothes, and I still, probably my gym locker still smells.
How do you manage people’s high expectations?
It’s a lot of pressure, to be everything to everybody, and all I’ve been telling people is, you know, I’m a regular guy . . . and I’m just like they are, and I’m hopeful that they don’t put such high expectations that I let them down. So I’m just asking people to be patient, let me get a business card first, let me get my office staff established, give me a month to just make sure I can do everything that they want me to do. And then, then they can start to judge me.
How will you fit with Senate Republicans?
I told them, I said, ‘With all due respect, I really don’t know a lot of you people and you don’t know me, but maybe that’s good, because I’m going to vote how I want to vote. . . . And they were cool. They said: ‘OK, do whatever you want. You could probably do whatever you want right about now, Scott, so that’s OK.’ So they were very respectful, and they understand. They understand that all eyes are on me.
Was there anything last night in the president’s State of the Union that you liked?
Yeah, I thought his looking at the approach on nuclear power, solar, hydro, limited drilling, I agree with that. I’m not in favor of his cap-and-trade proposal, because I think it’s a job-killer. Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, those areas . . . putting the earmarks online I thought was good. . . . We’re going to find common ground on things.
Can you find common ground on health care?
I have to see what’s there. You know, if it’s going to be the raising taxes and cutting of Medicare and all that stuff, the backroom deals, then no. But the fact that . . . now Republicans are going to have to come to the table and he challenged them to come up with some good ideas - I think that’s good.
Former governor Mitt Romney gave you early financial and public support. What’s your relationship like with him?
He’s changed, he’s changed . . . Before he was an outsider coming in and he was, you know, kind of, you know, stiff. But he’s actually, like, funny, he’s like - when he was at my events he was cracking jokes, when we were on the bus - I was like, who is this guy? He’s really kind of, I think, settled into his role kind of being the elder statesman of the party and everything he went through.
Freshmen typically get crummy assignments. Does your new fame and status change that?
Yeah. Yeah, I have some advantages that others wouldn’t have. Um. Yeah, I’m going to use those advantages respectfully.
Is there one moment from the trail that will stay with you?
It’s just been every time I’ve showed up to a rally I was just amazed. . . . This whole experience has been fun. If you can convey anything to your readers, say, ‘It’s been fun, and I’m so honored to have been part of it, and I can’t believe I’m here, but I’m going to do my very best to just be the best senator for all the people, ’cause the election is over.
You’ve had a few nicknames over the years: Deuce in high school, 41.
Deuce and Downtown Scotty Brown and now 41.
Is there one you hope sticks?
Yeah, I’m hoping they know me by Scott. You know? Just Scott. Scott from Wrentham, who drives a truck.