Massachusetts Republican Cuts a Bike Version of Scott Brown ‘Truck’ Ad

After Sen. Scott Brown’s (R-MA) January upset in the race for the congressional seat long held by the late Ted Kennedy, his win was chalked up to several factors: voter reluctance to embrace health care reform, campaign-trail gaffes by the Democratic candidate — and a hyper-folksy ad campaign that featured Brown cruising around the state meeting voters in his "old truck."

Now the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza catches an interesting new take on that ubiquitous truck ad (at which even President Obama took aim). Republican Dan Winslow, a candidate for the Massachusetts state legislature who has worked for Brown and erstwhile GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, has cut a version of the commercial featuring him touring his prospective district by bicycle.

Could Winslow’s ad signal a growing Republican transition away from bashing bike infrastructure projects as pork-barrel spending?

  • J

    Wow. A republican that gets it. Mobility and choice in transportation aren’t democrat or republican values, they’re American values. Voters have repeatedly said so on the ballots, and apparently republicans are starting to take notice. Maybe one day, this will be something both sides can agree upon.

  • The interests of cyclists are intrinsically conservative – public safety, local commerce, and social cohesion.

    I’ve often said, one of the first signs of real progress in cycling will be a Republican Critical Mass.

    The other sign is a dead union member buried under a bike path (the implication being that it will be big business to create bike infrastructure, i.e. I do not advocate violence against anyone).

  • Omri

    I would not see that as a big sea-change. Biking in Massachusetts is simply another form of Yankee frugality. It’s tied into regional identity, not political identity.

  • Karl

    And he’s not even pandering to the helmet fascists. I would *so* vote for him, if I could.

  • JamesR

    I would not take this as a sign of anything, and I don’t see biking as tied into Yankee frugality in any way. Massachusetts has as much of a car culture as you’ll find anywhere else in the US and the drivers are, um, hostile, to say the least, toward cyclists. For all of the batshit crazy behavior of NYC area drivers, at least the majority are relatively tolerant of people on bicycles. Can’t say the same for MA drivers, who neither expect to encounter cyclists nor know how to behave around them.

  • Omri

    That’s news to me, JamesR. I commute by bike from Medford to Boston and I often ride around Mr. Winslow’s district.

  • NIccolo Machiavelli

    I did my apprenticeship up there and road to work on a two-wheeler every day. I loved it but,,,it was a very violent aggressive car culture, way more so than NYC. And the periphery is much worse, I lived in the city (Roxbury).
    On the other hand, I welcome the Republicans, bring them on. Boston is really a very tiny urban enclave within an absolutely enormous metropolitan area with very old roads sliced an diced by some devastating interstates and peripheral rings. Hard to fit safe biking into that. However, with the residential parking structure, good mass transit alternatives (until midnight) and the very small distances in the city of Boston there is huge potential for a bicycle political economy. I’m sure having a permanent minority Republican advocate can’t hurt (except to maybe push the permanent majority Democrats more to the car culture, who really cares about that).

  • JamesR

    Omri, FWIW, I grew up in the state and used to commute by bike from Bedford to Lowell and back. Massachusetts does not equal Boston, and Medford is an outer borough of Boston for all intents and purposes.

  • Karl

    Actually, in huge parts of the city, the drivers are very good to cyclists. I think Alston, Downtown, Beacon Hill, Brookline, Jamaica Plain, Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, Belmont, Watertown, Lexington, Newton, etc. are all quite bike friendly.

  • Karl

    I think the bad drivers, for the most part, are concentrated in the northern and southern areas of the city, which you will rarely pass through, unless you live or work there. I’m thinking of Roxbury, Mattapan, Everett, Quincy, Revere, etc. in particular.

  • Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    There are actually quite a few candidates now doing the bike commercial running for office.

    See Rex Burkholder in Portland…..

    http://rex4metro.com/ep5_climate-change/

    This is a very good development cause you can’t fake this.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The interests of cyclists are intrinsically conservative – public safety, local commerce, and social cohesion.”

    Unfortunately, those sorts of conservatives are thin on the ground, as are those who are for less government spending on everyone, not just on others or future generations. Perhaps there are a few over in Britain.

  • Larry, the Tories supported the Iraq War. Don’t let Cameron fool you – once his party is back in power, it’ll be Thatcherism all over again.

  • AZMike

    This isn’t a new phenomenon.

    The late Russell Kirk, author of The Conservative Mind (the blueprint for traditionalist conservatism) hated cars and called them ‘mechanical Jacobins’ for the way they destroyed the environment and social cohesion of local communities (he would know — he lived in Detroit for many years, ground zero for everything that was and still is wrong with cars).

    Wal-Mart/Wall Street Republicans are on the decline and Main Street conservatives like Ray LaHood and Dan Winslow are on the ascension. Let’s hope they are sincere about it.

    It’s a good thing.

  • Edgar

    William F. Buckley, Jr. ran for mayor of New York in 1965 on the Conservative Party line with a platform of bike lanes and traffic fees

  • MinNY

    “The interests of cyclists are intrinsically conservative – public safety, local commerce, and social cohesion.”

    – Plus your bike doesn’t care if you are gay. Or Mexican.

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