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Scott Brown's Pink Leather Shorts

This article is more than 10 years old.

As President Obama launches into his six-hour health care summit this morning, it's worth remembering one of the key reasons he's been forced into the position of renegotiating a reform plan that was a heartbeat away from passage: the election of Scott Brown.

So here's Frank Bruni, of The New York Times, offering a juicy profile of the newest GOP senator that includes passages like this:

Like so many politicians who have presented themselves as folk heroes, Scott Brown is a lot more complicated. He’s a real estate lawyer with a dozen years in the Massachusetts State Legislature — not exactly a career politician, but not an outsider either — and two spacious homes, one on a leafy cul-de-sac in the Boston suburb of Wrentham, Mass., the other about four blocks from the Atlantic in Rye, N.H. He’s indisputably self-made and indeed something of a he-man, but with a background that’s part Horatio Alger, part Zoolander. The Cosmo article came toward the start of a long, lucrative modeling career, and it was hardly his last voyage as a showboat.

Arianna told me that he showed up for his first real date with her mother, Gail Huff, a TV newscaster to whom he has been married for more than 23 years, in pink leather shorts. It’s family lore.

The pinkish color drained from his face when I asked him about it during a conversation in his campaign office just before we took off in the truck. He clarified that the shorts weren’t something that he went out and purchased — it wasn’t like that at all. “I did the couture shows, and instead of paying in cash, they paid in clothes,” he said. “And one of the things I had to wear were leather shorts. And these happened to be pink.”

As he told the story, he seemed, almost in spite of himself, to get into it. “If I wore these now,” he said, “I’d get shot. But it was the ’80s. Pastels were in. It was all pastel-y.” The shorts went with his tan at the time and a pair of white shoes that he owned, so he gave them a whirl. “Gail comes out and she’s like, ‘Those are pink shorts.’ I said: ‘Yeah, you like them? They’re great. Comfortable. Feel this leather.’ ” With this last phrase, he slowly stroked the side of one of his thighs, apparently miming the gesture he made in front of her.

He emphasized: “This isn’t cheap leather. This is, like, $750 shorts back then.” He shook his head at the memory. “Crazy stuff.”

This program aired on February 25, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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