Reihan Salam has an excellent post on America's newest senator.
Back from reading it? Okay. Here, in my view, are the key paragraphs:
One question for Brown is whether he wants to focus on building his national profile — campaigning with Marco Rubio and other star conservative candidates — or building a base in Massachusetts. Very frankly, I think that Brown has demonstrated a real gift for national politics: his biography is compelling, he is an effective speaker, he had the discipline to take the high-road in the campaign. There were no macaca moments this time, and I have to assume that there were many, many strategists and activists very eager to manufacture one. Under this level of scrutiny, Brown thrived. And this after being a purely local politician for years. That's not normal. It is an Obama level of talent and discipline and work ethic. We know how that turned out.
I'm not saying that Scott Brown should run for president tomorrow. Just imagine the mildly perturbed look on Mitt Romney's face! Rather, I'm saying that Brown has an opportunity to do something truly extraordinary. He can help shape the Tea Party movement as it grows and hits the mainstream, by giving it a narrative and a policy substance that it's still yearning for. To me, the right narrative and policy platform is all about federalism and a general deconcentration of power.
I had a similar reaction while watching Brown's victory speech last night. For a state senator, he was remarkably fluid with a teleprompter. He was funny and off-the-cuff. He had some great lines. His sentence-long critique of the Democratic health care reform was concise and devastating. Nevertheless, he struck bipartisan notes by praising Obama, Coakley, and the Kennedys. During the campaign, he had a remarkable ability to stay on message, emphasize his key points, and know when to crack a joke or use an applause line. This is a high-caliber politician with a bright future.
Jennifer Rubin has similar thoughts here. And in an interview with Greta Van Susteren last night, Karl Rove seemed extremely impressed with Brown.
The thing is, Brown is not alone. Bob McDonnell and Chris Cristie are both fresh, likable conservatives who ran reform campaigns aimed at independent voters. In Florida, Marco Rubio is moving steadily toward victory while campaigning on similar themes. Who knows what talents will emerge in the years ahead.
A year after conservatism was pronounced dead, it has sprung back to life. With a vengeance.