Hmm…Don’t Those Red Waves Look Familiar?

Posted on February 4, 2010 by


By: Billie Hirsch

With US Senator-elect Scott Brown taking office this afternoon despite what should have been an unquestionably blue win in the most liberal state in the country; conventional wisdom may need to start looking for a shoulder to lean on.

Brown is the first Republican elected to U.S. Senate from Massachusetts since 1972, and interested parties look to the increasingly intimate relationship between social media and politics as a potentiality of Brown’s surprising success.

Scott Brown owns both a Facebook and Twitter account, both of which he has updates on a frequent basis. Facebook groups such as “Women for Brown,” “Veterans for Brown,” and even “Democrats for Brown”—exist on his page consisting of nearly 200,000 fans—While Coakley’s fans consist of a mere 18,000 people.

“Brown certainly made the most of social and traditional media in his campaign,” an American Politics professor at Emmanuel College comments. Brown regularly writes updates on his Twitter and Facebook thanking voters, and urging them to follow him on Twitter for constant updates of his whereabouts. For politicians, relaying late breaking issues as well as the simple concept of one concise and up to date message for the American public allows them to constantly keep in touch with their voters and fan base.

It seems as though as well as being the political voice and figurehead of the majority, Americans own an increasing expectation of their local (and national) representatives to have a personality and intimacy to them like never before.

With the increasing popularity in using social media tools like Facebook and Twitter, local and even the most prominent figures (i.e. President Barack Obama, as well as Coakley and Brown) can relate to the average American.

However, in this media-centered society where it seems unusual for a politician to not have a Facebook, are personality and intimacy as an increasing importance competing with more pressing issues, like politics?

“I think the fact that the media is conveying that we should now be concerned with Scott Brown’s daughters whereabouts as well as relationship status on the same level as his politics is troubling,” BU student Emily Shields says.

Even so, Nick Viau, a Boston student and registered Democrat has another hunch as to the reason behind Brown’s overwhelming success. “I feel as though Brown managed to connect with people on a level that Martha Coakley failed to,” Viau admitted.

It seems that some Boston students believe there was an air of arrogance to Coakley’s campaign, as though the Massachusetts Attorney General felt she didn’t have to make such a strong connection Brown had to, due to big-name Kennedy endorsements and the large population of Democrats in the Spirit of America State.

“Coakley shouldn’t have expected to win based on family connections,” Viau remarked, disappointed. “Both Scott Brown and the Kennedy name proved that that specific style of politics is disappearing.”

Voters felt a sense of excitement with the idea of Brown as Senator-elect, mainly because his campaign wasn’t the norm. It seems unorthodox to the politically aware that a politician running for any office position not affiliate a previously assumed color to his campaign as well as adding the R or D tagline to his name. Brown’s placards were mainly blue, ironically, as well as some brown campaign posters—he tended to stray away from the archetypal “Republican Red.” It seemed to most as though Brown opted to use a color with a previously empty meaning, offering himself to the state of Massachusetts as a mere candidate and not a Republican—a preconceived notion.

A number of students in the Boston area observed these small details that proved amply successful. “The font used as well as the three wavy lines in Scott Brown’s campaign posters seemed eerily similar to Barack Obama’s,” retorted Shields.

Whatever the rationale, the polls have been counted and Brown has been welcomed at Capitol Hill. Although many Massachusetts natives did not seem to be in accordance with the under dog’s politics and administrative convictions, it seems that Brown’s campaign was well-aware that success would materialize itself via utilization of every medium and strategy in both the internet and on the streets.

Posted in: Boston