Scott Brown and Jeanne Shaheen have been firsts or near-firsts at a few things in their political careers and their lives. With Brown’s victory in the GOP primary they now get to decide who will be first in November in the race for Shaheen’s Senate seat representing New Hampshire. Should Brown win, he would be the first senator to have represented 2 different states since 1879 when James Shield represented Illinois and Minnesota. Shaheen is the first female senator to represent New Hampshire as well as the first woman to be elected governor in the state. She is also the first female elected to both governor and senator in the US. While selling herself – successfully it must be admitted – as a moderate in New Hampshire, she has worked on Democratic campaigns for everyone from Carter, through Gary Hart, and Al Gore as well as John Kerry. She has taught at Harvard and has been a fellow at their Institute of Politics. Gore apparently had her on a short list for VP. In other words, Shaheen is as big L Liberal as they come. And yes, she likes taxes, being one of the first New Hampshire politicians in 4 decades_ not_ to promise no new taxes. Her attempt at a sales tax was defeated by the state legislature over ten years ago.

Scott Brown knows what it is to battle with Liberals, certainly female lionesses of the left like Elizabeth Warren, who he lost his 2012 US Senate re-election to in Massachusetts to. One could describe Scott Brown as a Massachusetts Republican, having voted about 90% of the time with the state Republican leadership. He has also been willing to work across party lines and has also earned conservative Tea Party criticism for his opposition to budget cuts in 2011. Does that mean that Scott Brown – he has earned endorsements from them in the past – is a moderate Tea Party candidate? He introduced Mitt Romney at the Conservative Political Action Conference, but has not been beyond considering supporting jobs bills promoted by Democrats. He calls himself a fiscal conservative and a social moderate: on issues like gay marriage he is flexible if not overtly supportive, and he has called Wade v Roe “settled law.”

Will New Hampshire – where he has childhood ties and has vacationed in for years – accept Scott Brown? The primary victory is a clear “yes”, and some polls suggest his popularity is starting to surge and he could chip away at Shaheen’s 12 point lead, reducing it to single digits by November. If Brown is able to win in New Hampshire, GOP control of the US Senate will be even more assured. Once that gets done, then voters can decide exactly what type of Republican Scott Brown is.

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