In the film “Forrest Gump,” Tom Hanks plays a goofy but oddly well-positioned witness to history. Among other firsts, he teaches a young Elvis Presley to swivel his hips, meets with President Nixon who gets him a room at the Watergate hotel where Gump discovers the break-in, and inspires John Lennon to write “Imagine.”
Not long ago Sen. Scott Brown told radio hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan that he met with kings and queens, a fabrication that has been captured on video at least five other times. Last Tuesday, he told CNN that President Obama and other powerful Democrats call him regularly to support their legislation.
“I can name a litany of Democratic-sponsored bills that I’ve done that never would have passed hadn’t it been for me. The president had called me, and vice president calls me, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls asking for my vote all the time.”
Let’s start with Hillary Clinton: When questioned, Brown’s staff said he has spoken by phone with Clinton just twice during his Senate career, most recently about a year ago, on July 5, 2011. They spoke on the phone when the Obama administration was trying to round up votes for the New START agreement, which limits nuclear arsenals. They have spoken face-to-face just two times; Brown was in the room when Secretary Clinton addressed a group of senators on the political uprisings in Egypt and Libya. Those sessions happened in February 2011 and March 2011.
Joe Biden and Brown spoke once, according to Brown’s staff, on the phone; it was also about the START treaty. The two met face-to-face when Biden, as president of the Senate, swore Brown in after his special election win. A couple months later, Biden gave the new senator a tour of the White House and then they had lunch.
Air Force One calling. Brown’s people said President Obama and the senator have spoken by phone just once, in April 2010, when President Obama called the senator from Air Force One on immigration policy and to ask him to support the Dodd-Frank financial regulation measure (which he did.)
The White House, which keeps track of such things, noted that Obama met Brown in June 2010 for a talk in the Oval Office. It was described as “a get-to-know-you session and a discussion of a variety of policy matters.” The two have also seen each other eight other times at various bill-signings; Brown muttered something to the president as he left a State of the Union address; and they met when the Boston College hockey team visited the White House after winning an NCAA championship.
Brown boasted that he’d seen photos of Osama bin Laden the day after he had been killed, but the pictures were an Internet hoax.
Brown’s staff has had to walk back or retreat from his original claims; since we’re imagining things, let’s see what else Brown dreamed up:
Top 10 Things Sen. Brown Said He Did:
1. He was secretly a member of SEAL Team 6 that took out Osama bin Laden. (Walk back: As a member of the National Guard he felt a kinship with the SEALs.)
2. He opened for Springsteen. (It was some guy everybody called the boss.)
3. He watched Vladimir Putin play a piano concerto. (He actually saw Vladimir Horowitz on “60 Minutes.”)
4. He plays right field for the Sox. (On his Xbox 360 MLB video game.)
5. President Obama always waves to him. (Brown waves at his motorcade.)
6. He discovered the Higgs boson “God” particle. (He says it’s in his basement.)
7. He was in the cockpit with Capt. Sullenberger when he landed his plane in the Hudson. (He saw it live on TV and felt like he was right there.)
8. He knows that Jimmy Hoffa is alive, living in Boca. (Saw it on the Internet.)
9. He fixed up Bob Kraft with Ricki Lander, the bikini model. (Kraft is a constituent.)
10. He’s the Kardashians’ favorite senator. (True.)