Scott Brown will attend Republican National Convention, but with no speaking role
WASHINGTON – Senator Scott Brown is planning to attend the Republican National Convention this August but will not have a speaking role as his party gathers to tap his fellow Massachusetts Republican, Mitt Romney, as its presidential nominee.
Of any Republican in the country, perhaps no candidate has more to risk by being at the convention than Brown, who is running for reelection as an independent-minded Republican in a deep blue state. Also, Romney does not fare well in public opinion polls in his home state, and the Globe reported in May about how the two men are political allies but have never been particularly close.
But Brown is still choosing to attend, even while some vulnerable Democrats – most prominently Senator Claire McCaskill, of Missouri – decide not to attend their convention. Some suggest the lawmakers -- several from Republican-heavy states -- are staying clear of the convention for fear of being too closely linked to their party and their president; McCaskill’s camp says she wants to stay in Missouri to campaign.
“It’s always a proud moment for Massachusetts when one of its own is nominated for president of the United States, whether it’s a Democrat or a Republican,” said Colin Reed, a Brown campaign spokesman. “Senator Brown will be attending the convention with other members of the delegation.”
Brown is planning to be at the convention in Tampa when Romney accepts the nomination, which takes place on the final day of the convention and will mark a crowning moment for the small but merry band of Massachusetts Republicans. But Brown will not have a speaking role himself, according to his campaign.
It’s not necessarily a given that Brown would have a speaking role at the biggest gathering of Republican officials. He is a freshman senator. But he’s also been a rising star within his party, and one of the few who has tried to promote himself as willing to work with Democrats.
Brown and Romney have several overlapping advisers -- Eric Fehrnstrom, Beth Myers, and Peter Flaherty are part of the inner circles for both -- who likely could ensure that Brown takes the podium, were there a political benefit to making that happen.Matt Viser can be reached at email@example.com.