Triumph of a Republican populist in a pick-up

When Cosmopolitan featured him nude in their June 1982 issue, they called Scott Brown, then a Boston law student, not just "America's Sexiest Man" but also "strong but huggable". It is a description that may still apply given the surge of support he received from Massachusetts voters.

Many things may have contributed to Tuesday night's victory of Mr Brown but not least among them was the contrast between his campaigning style and that of his Democratic rival, state Attorney General Martha Coakley, whom he finally defeated 52 per cent to 47. He was as personable and appealing as she was distant and desiccated. He seemed approachable while she remained distant.

Mr Brown, 50, who was first elected to the state Senate in 2004, was also remarkably focused in his message, creating a rallying cry out of his promise to become the "41st Republican" in the US Senate who would be able to block the healthcare reform bill that was integral to the political ambitions of the giant he will now be replacing in the Senate, the late Edward Kennedy.

Mr Brown struck a populist pose, driving his pick-up truck across the state and winning the support of mainstream Republicans, independents and the angry ranks of the new Tea Party movement. In Washington he will not be easy to pigeonhole. He is opposed to gay rights but supports abortion, in most cases. He also backed President Barack Obama's deployments to Afghanistan.

The whole family seems suited to the limelight. Aside from that Cosmo shot, Mr Brown modelled (for Jordache jeans) and appeared in television commercials. His wife, Gail Huff, is an on-air reporter with a Boston television station. One of their two daughters, Ayla, was a semi-finalist in the fifth season of American Idol.

Mr Brown is a triathlon enthusiast who, until the rigours of the Senate campaign set in, trained religiously at 5am. He is a property lawyer and has belonged to the state National Guard for the last 30 years, gaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Though he has never served in a war zone, he has been deployed to Kazakhstan and Paraguay.

On Comedy Central, Jon Stewart of The Daily Show observed that "the Kennedy legacy goes down to a naked guy who owns a truck". But in Massachusetts they know snobbery when they see it, which is partly why Mr Brown won and Ms Coakley lost.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory