Ah well, he’ll make a fine VP for President Christie. Like we RINOs always say: You can never have too many centrist northeastern Republicans on the national GOP ticket.
Asked about his presidential ambitions, Brown said: “I think a lot of people today, they live in a bubble. They live in their home state and they don’t leave their comfort zone or try to expand their knowledge or understanding of what’s happening around the rest of the country or in the rest of the world, in some instances.
“I want to understand the challenges and the opportunities and the aspirations of the people in the Midwest and how they view us and vice versa,” he said. “I want to see if there’s interest in my brand of politics, being a strong national security hawk and a fiscal conservative. The way I see it, hey, there’s plenty of room for people in the party like me and Sarah Palin and Rand Paul and Chris Christie, yet we’re always attacking each other for not fitting some ideologically pure mold.”
Brown described himself as a Republican with state legislative experience, U.S. Senate experience and 34 years of military experience “who’s truly a bipartisan problem-solver and not someone who beats you over the head all the time saying, ‘It’s my way or the highway.’”
He used the phrase “bi-partisan problem solver” in an interview with the Boston Herald too, so there’s your campaign slogan wrapped up in a bow. Ezra Klein tweeted that he didn’t see the logic of a Brown presidential bid, which set up Charles Cooke for one of the easiest lay-ups in modern political history:
Ezra Klein's right. There's no precedent for unaccomplished briefly-senators running for president. It'd be absurd: http://t.co/6EMw7wiwjM
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) August 19, 2013
Why wouldn’t Brown pretend-run? Apart from McCain and Romney, every Republican with a national profile is theoretically running for president right now. There’s nothing to lose by keeping your name out there. Like Guy said yesterday in the Greenroom, even if Brown’s not a legit contender for the presidency, he’s got a shot at governor of Massachusetts or senator from New Hampshire. If you’re a pol who’s in danger of dropping off the local political radar, take your free PR where you can get it.
Here’s the only scenario I can think of where his interest in a national run is semi-serious: If Mike Bloomberg decides his ticket to continued relevance after he leaves office as mayor is to singlehandedly fund a “No Labels” third-party candidacy, whether for himself or for some designated champion, Brown is a guy who’d naturally be considered for the ticket. Christie would be ideal for Bloomy in that case, but he’s got a shot at the GOP nomination and is unlikely to sacrifice it for something far more quixotic; the natural choices would be Brown, Jon Huntsman, or Joe Manchin (the latter two of which now co-chair the “No Labels” group). It’ll go nowhere if Christie’s nominated by Republicans, but if the choice is between Hillary and, say, Rand Paul or Ted Cruz, there might be enough room in the center for some sort of squishy indie project to win just enough votes in a losing effort to put third-party candidacies on the map as credible alternatives in the future. Does Mike Bloomberg want to spend $700 million on that? Probably not unless he’s at the top of the ticket himself. Exit question: Bloomberg/Brown 2016?