In what may sound like an odd April Fool’s joke to many Massachusetts voters and political strategists, former Mass. Republican Senator Scott Brown announced that he will be guest hosting Monday’s installment of The O’Reilly Factor.
Brown, who joined Fox News as a contributor in February after losing his Senate seat to Democrat Elizabeth Warren, has been described as a moderate. It might come as a surprise for this so-called “moderate” to be hosting a very conservative program, especially given his liberal home state of Massachusetts.
Brown issued the popular phrase in a recent press release from his new employer, Nixon Peabody, that he has “never hesitated to reach across the aisle to work with members of any political party to secure a preferable outcome.” Brown earned his reputation as a moderate for his siding with Democrats on issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion.
In a time when many GOP politicians are coming out in favor of same-sex marriage, Brown, an early GOP opponent of constitutional amendments to the definition of marriage, might have the potential to be a poster boy for a reformed Republican Party.
Any armchair political strategist could rightfully be perplexed by Brown’s decision to host such a polarizing television program. However, given the recent battle over same-sex marriage between two GOP gladiators, Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh, it appears as if the O’Reilly conservative camp might be in support of a more progressive conservative platform.
O’Reilly recently criticized opponents of gay marriage as being absent of “compelling argument[s]” and of “thump[ing] the Bible.” Despite O’Reilly’s shifting views on gay marriage, it appears as if the conservative Fox show host might be on the politically correct side of the nation wide debate (for once).
Given the recent changes within the Republican party, it may be the case that Brown’s decision to host The O’Reilly Factor is purely a strategic one; voice his more moderate views and perspective in order to gain some support from both parties. The O’Reilly Factor may not attract many liberals, but it certainly attracts attention, and attention is what Brown is getting.
Rising stars within the GOP now must gain respect and support from members of each party, given their difference in opinion with the other half of the GOP. For Republicans, the divide may no longer be Democrat-Republican, especially for those who support gay marriage. If the GOP does in fact have a split of ideals, Republicans will now have to garner support from both sides in order to win an election.
Brown’s moderation has the potential to attract the younger base of Republican voters, and who knows, maybe some liberals who support fiscal conservatism yet more strongly have supported social issues in their past voting behaviors.
Guest hosting The O’Reilly Factor at a time like this may be wonderful choice for someone with future political aspirations.