Sensing an opening on foreign policy, the former Massachusetts senator delivered a scathing speech on Wednesday at a New Hampshire college accusing the incumbent Democrat of failing to stand up to President Obama or speak out while the threats facing the nation have long been clear.
“They seem only more confused on a daily basis as things unravel,” he said at Saint Anselm College. “It’s as if the Obama administration is maxed out, worn down, devoid of ideas, and now, guess what? All the bills are coming due. This is what foreign policy looks like without clarity and conviction.”
Brown went on to declare that Shaheen supports Obama “99 percent” of the time, a common refrain from the candidate, and so “if we’ve seen some bad calls at the White House, it’s a very safe bet that our senior senator has been right in line with that failed program.”
“For Senator Shaheen, it’s been nearly six years of just going along, with no questions for the president about his decisions — at least none that anybody remembers,” he said. “No expressions of disagreement … not a single sign of independent thinking.”
Brown has been unafraid to go after Shaheen on immigration too, but this issue seems to be giving him a little more traction. The RealClearPolitics rolling average still has Shaheen up by seven percent, but that is a four-point swing in Brown’s favor in just a week.
The post examines in detail the tactic’s merit, especially its potential to swing the same female voters whose national security concerns prompted them to vote for George W. Bush in 2004. What it doesn’t get around to is the most important part of the message: Brown is right.
There is no better, or easier, time to yoke an incumbent candidate to a president of the same party than in a midterm election. Obama’s weaknesses are the incumbent Democrats’ weaknesses, no matter how they try to avoid him this year.