By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Scott Brown gives Setti Warren the brush-off

You’ve got to see this WBZ-TV (Channel 4) video of U.S. Sen. Scott Brown declining to shake hands with Newton Mayor Setti Warren, one of his Democratic challengers, at a Memorial Day parade in Newton yesterday. I’m not sure Brown knew who Warren was. But doesn’t that make it worse?

Update: Brown spokesman Felix Browne tells the Newton Tab that the senator did, in fact, shake hands with the mayor, saying they “had already shaken hands and exchanged greetings” just before the moment captured by video. I’ve emailed Channel 4 spokeswoman Ro Dooley-Webster, and will report back when she responds.

Update II: The Warren campaign tells Blue Mass Group that Brown didn’t decline to shake Warren’s hand. Rather, he waved off a chance to meet some veterans who had been marching with Warren. “We’re not concerned or worried about this, and Mayor Warren greatly enjoyed his time out at the parade yesterday,” the Warren staffer wrote.

Update III: I received the following statement from Channel 4 spokeswoman Ro Dooley-Webster a little before 6:30 p.m.: “We reported in our noon newscast that a representative for Mayor Warren confirmed that Senator Brown didn’t make time for the mayor when he approached him after the parade to introduce the senator to some veterans, but both campaigns confirm that Senator Brown and Mayor Warren greeted one another and shook hands earlier in the day and that the Mayor is not at all upset.”

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  1. Admittedly,it was graceless of Sen. Brown not to shake Mayor Warren’s hand, irrespective of whether he recognized him. Not terribly newsworthy, though, and will be long forgotten by the time the election campaign heats up. It will be a positive development when the news media diverts its attention from “snubs,” which are all heat & no light, to candidates’ positions on issues of importance, such as Medicare and our Mideast policy.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @sheldon: Well, Brown is certainly covered on Medicare, as he has taken all possible positions in the last few weeks.

  2. Given Brown’s tendency to change his position, I suspect the next time he sees Setti Brown he will give him a bear hug!

  3. Mike Benedict

    Maybe the good senator had just seen “Trading Places.”

  4. Rick Peterson

    So Brown’s only choices are to become a legitimizing photo op for Sen. Kerry’s sock puppet or to get slammed for ignoring him? Yeah, right. And you wonder why people think most of the media is in the tank? “Fellow veteran”? Did I miss a press release about Lt. Col. Brown’s retirement from the Army National Guard? (Ask a currently-serving soldier the last time they saw a campaign hat on someone under the age of 70.)

  5. Mike Benedict

    @Rick: So now veteran = retired? Better inform the VA.

  6. Cassie Bristol

    It does not look like a brush off to me at all. Copy and paste journalism at it’s finest.

  7. Michael Wyatt

    Context might be better here; how many parades was Sen. Brown marching in that day (flashing back to last summer on the South Shore and the 4th of July, I know that the gubernatorial candidates were flying up and down Rte. 3 on a tight schedule to hit as many parades as possible). A “brush off” after the parade may have been nothing more than Brown having to scramble to the next event and not having time to stop and talk.

  8. As it turns out, they had shaken hands earlier in the day. Let’s hope the media get back to policy issues and resist distractions like this, fun though it may be.

  9. Nial Lynch

    The only unusual thing in the video clip is that a U.S. Senator appears to be traveling without a posse.

  10. Rick Peterson

    @Mike: Actually, in this context, yes it does.

    “Deputy Secretary Gould Testifies about VA–DoD Collaboration
    Recently, VA Deputy Secretary W. Scott Gould testified to the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on VA and DoD collaboration. The Deputy focused on joint initiatives to make the transition from Servicemember to Veteran seamless.”

    Unless someone can be on active duty and retired from it at the same time, it would seem that someone has already informed them. (Perhaps you should correct Dept. Sec. Gould as well; poor guy thinks he knows what he’s talking about.)

  11. Mike Benedict

    Rick: You dope, you didn’t even read the very site you referenced.

    “You may be eligible for VA benefits if you are a:

    Veteran, Veteran’s dependent
    Surviving spouse, child or parent of a deceased Veteran
    Uniformed service member
    Present or former reservist or National Guard member

    [bolds mine]

    A veteran is by definition anyone who has served. Even, per your source, the VA, someone who is still serving.

  12. Rick Peterson

    Yet again Mike, you just can’t conceive of the man in the mirror making a mistake. Since you didn’t cite a location on the website you quoted, I have no context and must presume you are quoting accurately. That said, the federal government is not exactly famous for the quality of their websites. Put a comma after “Veteran” and the meaning is precisely what I (and less pedantic souls than yourself) understand it to be. I will leave you with yet another introduction provided on the web page you claim to have read:
    “General Eligibility
    Eligibility for most VA benefits is based upon discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions. Active service means full-time service, other than active duty for training, as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or as a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, Environmental Science Services Administration or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or its predecessor, the Coast and Geodetic Survey.”
    What part of “discharge” is unclear? I’m starting to understand how you manage to conflate reality into some of your more bizarre theories. I guess we “dopes” just can’t handle the intellectual fast track that is Mikeyworld.

  13. Mike Benedict

    @Rick: I used to doubt you ever were in the military. No longer, though: You clearly were, since you have issues both with logic AND comprehension.

    Here is the link, since apparently using the “SEARCH” button is beyond the ancients like yourself:

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