Perhaps U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen isn't the best politician to be preaching on the virtues of pledges. Her own track record with them isn't the best.
In New Hampshire, there is only one Pledge. It is taken by candidates for governor who truly believe that New Hampshire is different from other states in part because of its small government, kept small by the lack of a broadbased sales or income tax. Hence the Pledge to veto any state sales or income tax that should make it to the governor's desk.
No freshman governor in modern times has made it to that office without taking the Pledge, Shaheen included. It was only after two terms and weakening her opposition and gathering her bankroll that Shaheen abandoned the Pledge. Fortunately, the Legislature was wise enough not to give her a tax bill to sign.
Still, it is instructive of the way Shaheen operates. Take a pledge when you need to. Scrap it when it is inconvenient. Shaheen is now at it again.
Running against incumbent U.S. Sen. John Sununu in 2008, Shaheen was more than happy with all the money that third-party liberal groups across the country spent on the race. Now, with a multimillion dollar warchest of her own, Shaheen is suddenly asking for a new pledge.
She wants potential Republican challenger Scott Brown to join with her in pledging to oppose outside money.
Gall? Audacity? Chutzpah? Take your pick. The woman's hypocrisy is breathtaking.
Next thing you know, Shaheen will seek a pledge that candidates reside in New Hampshire for a decade before seeking to serve in elective office. Of course, most people from New Hampshire are from somewhere else (Shaheen included). They move here because they want to.
We would hope, however, that Shaheen doesn't hold it against candidates who were actually born here - Scott Brown, born at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, being one of them.