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November 6, 2011

Stay Classy, Scott Brown Campaign Staffers

by at 3:53 pm.

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Meet Scott Brown’s campaign tracker, the guy designated to hit the opposition’s campaign events and tape stuff, on the off chance he’ll get some sort of macaca moment on camera. It’s a boring job of listening to the same campaign pitches over and over with the tiniest outside chance of catching something worthy of one of the MA GOP’s astoundingly awesome (for us, pathetic, for them) edited-videos-and-audio-out-of-context.

This shot I took was near the end of Elizabeth Warren’s volunteer meeting in Lowell today (packed like all the others and a great event), as she was talking to a reporter and then getting in her Toyota to leave.

The reason I use the phrase “stay classy” in all this is that this guy was filming during the post-event chats Elizabeth was having with individual people. Only at the last minute did I think to capture him sticking his camera right up on the conversations she was having, but at this moment, he was actually standing further back from the action than he had been doing for the 20+ minutes before, when Elizabeth had been talking to supporters near the entrance of the building. I remarked on him during that time, wondering WTF he was doing because I felt he was way too close (at first I thought he was with the campaign, but then realized, no way), and feeling bad for the people she was trying to talk to, since they didn’t sign up to be videotaped at point blank range 24/7.

This was a meeting of supporters and volunteers (or potential ones anyway) which makes it a little less of a problem. But imagine this was outside some diner somewhere with Elizabeth trying to have a conversation with real, live voters. If I were a voter trying to talk to a candidate, and this dude was sticking camera right ON me, in my face, the whole time, I’d be nervous, confused, and likely to cut my conversation short prematurely. People don’t love being in front of cameras (unless they are used to it).

It’s one thing to dog the opposition with your little digital cameras (and it’s really the only strategy Brown has right now, since he can’t run on his dismal voting record) but it’s another thing to stick so close that you intimidate people. Most average people do not like to be videotaped, and when a camera is out they get nervous. It’s rude, at a bare minimum, to film every second of every conversation Elizabeth has with people, not to mention at the very close range this guy was standing the whole time.

Maybe Scott Brown ought to teach his campaign staffers a few manners. At a minimum, how to step back far enough not to intimidate people who want to get to know a candidate. Intimidating voters seems a pretty poor way to run a campaign.

But hey, if that’s all you got, Scotto…well, you ought to be very, very worried. And it’s obvious from your tracker’s actions today that you’re frantic as hell for something, anything to use against Elizabeth Warren. We can smell the sweat from here, kiddo. I would stop being so obviously scared to death, if I were you - voters aren’t likely to respond very well to desperation.

5 Responses to “Stay Classy, Scott Brown Campaign Staffers”

  1. ChrisMatth Says:

    As a recovering tracker (Perry/MA-10), I have some sympathy for the kid. His job sucks and he’s around people who hate him everyday. BUT, there are also rules to live by - you don’t lie about who you are, you don’t sneak into fundraisers, and you don’t record personal conversations, just public appearances and media interviews. Brown’s tracker snuck into a senate candidates breakfast I helped run on the South Shore, and when questioned didn’t identify himself. Now he’s recording personal conversations…

    My trackee recognized that “tracking” is part of the game - Dems and Republicans alike. I treated the candidate, his family, and his staff with respect and received respect back. I hope Warren’s campaign is doing the same, but I also hope that someone explains to the Brown people (pun sooo intended) that whatever they do with a camera in Elizabeth’s face they can expect right back in Scott’s face.

    The two times I encountered Brown while tracking he 1) announced my fly was down at the end of his comments to news cameras and 2) tailgated me down Rt 6 on the Cape after an event. GREAT guy. Ugh.

    Oh, and if he’s a good tracker, he’s reading this right now. Smarten up, buddy!

  2. Michael Luciano Says:

    I was wondering what that kid’s deal was. Well, Scott Brown is going to need all the out-of-context material he can get, because the more this campaign is about actual issues, the worse his chances of reelection become.

  3. Lynne Says:

    True dat.

  4. Publius Says:

    I remember seeing a Democrat doing what was described above to Sam Meas at Congresswoman Tsongas’ town hall meeting on health care in Chelmsford.

  5. Lynne Says:

    Well then they should have been told to stop. As Chris says, you tape the speeches, and even maybe the media interviews, but the personal conversations with voters should be off limits.

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