Sen. Scott Brown’s 1982 ‘Cosmo’ Pictorial Generates New Controversy

By Steve Cohn
10/10/2011

In January 2010, after Republican Scott Brown was surprisingly elected to the Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat made vacant by the death of Ted Kennedy, the revelation that he posed nude in the June 1982 Cosmopolitan was titillating. Brown’s purpose was to earn money for tuition to Boston College Law School, and he became even more of a Capitol Hill celebrity.

Brown is up for re-election in November 2012, and in a debate last week among Democratic Party candidates, the favorite–Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren–was asked how she paid her way through college.

"She said she didn’t take [her] clothes off," was how it was reported in a National Public Radio blog.

Pretty routine, until a reporter asked Brown for his reaction, and out popped this soundbite:

"Thank God."

That did not please the Massachusetts Democratic Party, which released this statement: "Sen. Brown’s comments are the kind of thing you would expect to hear in a frat house, not in a race for the U.S. Senate."

It was the legendary, 1965-1996 Cosmo editor-in-chief Helen Gurley Brown who selected Scott Brown (no relation), and current editor (since August 1998) Kate White says that the pictorial helped him get elected.

Will there be an encore?