Senator Scott Brown Disses Summer Interns Everywhere

scott brownLast week, Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, who is running for re-election against Elizabeth Warren, was accused of plagiarizing a "message to students" on his campaign web site. The democratic group American Bridge discovered that the "personal message from Scott" was actually a message from fellow Republican and former Senator Elizabeth Dole, and had been copied verbatim from her now defunct site.

Scott has been taking a lot of heat for the plagiarism -- as well he should.


Plagiarism is theft -- it's stealing someone else's words, creativity, and in this case, their upbringing. The stolen verbiage was about how Dole Brown was raised and the values that were instilled in her him. How hard would it have been for Brown to give a little soundbite on the values he holds dear? (Oh wait, scratch that.) Regardless, that point could have been moot because none of us actually thinks Brown sat down, wrote and loaded this content on his web site. Yet, like a good leader, Brown could have acknowledged his mistake, apologized, and moved on. And we'd all have nothing to laugh about this morning ...  other than Herman Cain's 999 Plan, Rick Perry's clueless wife, and oh, about a million other things.

But Scott Brown isn't a good leader. So he made things even worse. He laid the blame on a "summer intern."

Yup, Brown blamed a "summer intern" for plagiarizing Dole's site or as Brown's camp explains it, "inadvertently transferring without being rewritten." That's right Brown threw some idealistic, freckle-faced preppie student from say, Boston College or Holy Cross, right under the bus. He apparently never got the memo that says whether you're the CEO of a company, the President of the United States, or a senator from Massachusetts, your staff's actions -- right down to  those of a "lowly" summer intern -- are your responsibility.

Even more icky, the rumor mill has it that the summer intern excuse is a downright lie -- Brown apparently wouldn't have had summer interns at the time his site was built. The Senator is giving election volunteers and summer interns everywhere a bad name and they should all be up in arms about his scapegoating tactics. Something on your election site is plagiarized? Blame a summer intern! Something doesn't go right on the campaign trail? Blame all those volunteers who work tirelessly for you for long hours ... for no money! Something dark and seedy from your past is exposed? Blame a summer intern!

Maybe Scott Brown didn't intentionally plagiarize any copy from Elizabeth Dole, but he did make it perfectly clear what kind of leader he is -- or should I say, isn't. Good luck getting those campaign workers.

(Side note to summer interns/election volunteers: If you want to be treated with respect, work with smart people, and learn a lot no matter which side of the aisle you're on, check out Elizabeth Warren's campaign. The only thing she'll "blame" you for is helping her win.)


What do you think it says about Scott Brown that he'd lay the blame for his mistakes on a "summer intern"?



Image via Beckwith-Sink (Diane)/Flickr

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