Last week, I wrote a short item about reports that former Massachusetts GOP Sen. Scott P. Brown was not ruling out a run for the Senate in 2014 — in New Hampshire.
I argued that the idea was a bad one and that running in the Granite State after passing on the 2013 Senate special election in Massachusetts would make Brown look like a carpetbagger who was “seat-shopping.”
Not long after my post, National Republican Senatorial Committee Communications Director Brad Dayspring shot back, not by answering my points but by tweeting about a column I wrote in this space in the summer of 1999, about Hillary Rodham Clinton and carpetbagging.
The column examined a number of races in which carpetbagging or residency was an issue, including Jay Rockefeller’s 1972 West Virginia run for governor, Oregon Rep. Al Ullman’s 1980 re-election bid, John McCain’s 1982 Arizona House race and Robert F. Kennedy’s 1964 New York Senate run.
I noted that sometimes a carpetbagging charge was enough to destroy a candidacy (e.g., Rockefeller’s and Ullman’s) and sometimes it wasn’t (e.g., McCain’s and Kennedy’s). But it was almost always a significant problem for a candidate with weak ties to a state. Full story