Jonathan Chait

Scott Brown Follows His Script

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[Guest Post by Noam Scheiber:]

I have a piece up today dissecting Scott Brown's appeal in Massachusetts and arguing that he represents a pretty effective model for Republicans nationally (and therefore a threat to Democrats). In the piece, I all but guaranteed that Brown would vote for the financial reform bill awaiting passage in Congress, given his play for the broad political center and the overwhelming public support for reform:

Brown has used his influence as a pivotal Senate vote to extract loopholes for financial firms (like easing restrictions on their investments in hedge funds) and to beat back a tax on big banks. But, in the end, there’s little doubt he’ll embrace the financial reform bill. In a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, voters said they’d be more likely to back a member of Congress who supported the bill by a 53-29 margin. (There’s no polling data available for Massachusetts, but the margin would presumably be even more skewed there.) No surprise, then, that Brown told a local TV station over the Fourth of July break that “he’s liking what I see” on the final compromise.

So it's good to see the Brown has made it official today, which basically ensures that the measure will pass. The only question now is whether Olympia Snowe and/or Chuck Grassley will follow suit, or whether we'll have to wait for West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin to appoint Robert Byrd's successor, which could push the final vote past this week.

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