He needs to serve the country the way he campaigned for votes—earnest, open, not beholden to interest or party. And he needs to avoid the Descent of the Congressional Vampires, who’ll attempt to claim his victory as their own and suck from his neck until he’s a pale and lifeless husk. Not to understate. But they’ll want him fund-raising and speaking all over the country, not knowing or perhaps caring that the best work he can do for his party is succeeding in the eyes of his constituents, who couldn’t care less about the fortunes of the GOP. He needs to avoid the vampires in the nicest possible way. Maybe he should carry a little cross deep inside his breast pocket so they retreat without knowing why: “I tried to get him to Boca for the donor retreat but some invisible force stopped me! I ran backwards and slipped on the shiny marble floor! Mah hip is out! ”

In a telephone conversation Wednesday night, Mr. Brown spoke of what’s ahead. The conversation turned to the movie “The Candidate,” to the moment Robert Redford wins the election and takes a top strategist aside to ask: “What do we do now?”

Mr. Brown laughed: “I know what I want to do: go down there and be a good person, a good and competent senator. I have huge shoes to fill, the legacy is just overwhelming. I’m a consensus builder. . . . I can disagree in the daytime and have a coffee or beer later on. Everyone’s welcome to their opinion.”…

The next morning he took the 7 a.m. shuttle from Boston to Washington for his first trip to the Capitol. On the plane, after they took off, the pilot came on and said, “Senator Brown is on board, on his way to Washington.” The plane erupted in applause.