Brown begins arduous balancing act with jobs bill vote

His appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last week had us wondering, but it appears Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) is getting at least a little good advice.

After giving a nod to the conservative grassroots that helped get him elected, Brown cast his first major vote against that segment Monday, crossing over to support the Senate's jobs bill.

“I came to Washington to be an independent voice, to put politics aside, and to do everything in my power to help create jobs for Massachusetts families," Brown said in a statement. "This Senate jobs bill is not perfect. I wish the tax cuts were deeper and broader, but I voted for it because it contains measures that will help put people back to work."

Brown has perhaps the most difficult balancing act in all of Congress, between his party and his constituency. He's going to take some tough votes before his 2012 reelection bid, and this was just the first one.

Keep an eye on how often he crosses over. If he's really interested in national office in 2012, he'll have to take some votes that won't be popular back home. If he's intending to stay where he is for another term, he'll cross over frequently.

Don't be fooled -- his task at the federal level is much tougher than Mitt Romney's ever was as governor.

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