Scott Brown: I Hope to Be As Ineffectual As John McCain.

This is encouraging news from our newest senator:

Sen.-elect Brown navigated the Russell Senate Office Building on Thursday for his first appointment with Sen. John McCain.

A National Guardsman, Brown said in the interview that McCain was his senatorial model. "I have great respect for Senator McCain," Brown said of the Arizona Republican, who was one of his first establishment backers. "I've known him for a while, long before this, and you know he is a war hero and kind of a maverick independent thinker."

He added, "I've told my leadership already that I'm not a rubber stamp for anybody."

Wait a minute -- McCain is a war hero? And a maverick? You don't say. That kind of insight into people is what got Scott Brown where he is today.

But is McCain the best model for a new senator? John McCain has served in Congress for 27 years now. In that time, he managed to produce one major piece of legislation -- the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, also known as McCain-Feingold -- which, as it so happens, the Supreme Court just tore into tiny little pieces. On the other hand, despite his laughably incompetent presidential campaign, near-zero legislative influence, and the distrust of colleagues on both sides of the aisle, McCain still manages to be treated by the Washington press corps as though his every utterance is the very definition of newsworthiness. One of the perks is that he gets invited on the Sunday shows more than anyone else in Washington, so we can all listen to what he has to say. So maybe that isn't such a bad model for Brown to follow after all.

-- Paul Waldman

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