It is hard to believe that a guy who spent a losing campaign for the Senate mocking his opponent's claim of Native American heritage would turn out to be culturally insensitive. And yet, here we are with Scott Brown, America's ambassador to New Zealand.
The accusations stem from a party Brown and his wife, Gail Huff, attended in Samoa in July to celebrate the Peace Corps's 50th anniversary in that island nation. From the Guardian:
It is understood that two complaints investigated by the US State Department against Brown originally came from two female Peace Corps volunteers who were at the event, and who served food and drink to the guests as a way to flip the cultural norm of Samoans serving Westerners.
But in addition to these complaints are others that the ambassador’s behaviour was “shocking”, “culturally insensitive”, “rude” and “undiplomatic”. The Guardian contacted more than a dozen people who attended the party and spoke to a number who said he had made them feel uncomfortable.
Those complaints include allegedly staring at the chest of female partygoers and “angrily” telling a Peace Corps volunteer who was disappointed in Donald Trump's presidency so far to “get over it.”
Brown and Huff addressed the complaints with New Zealand media this week, and they said the only complaints were that they had told partygoers they looked “beautiful” and suggested they could make money working as waitresses in the U.S., which apparently he considered some sort of compliment:
“When we walked into the Peace Corps event we walked in and there was a receiving line and prior to walking they were all like dirty and grungy ... We walked in and everyone was dressed to the nines. They all looked great, Gail looked great, you know I was dressed up and Gail and I both walked in and said 'you guys are beautiful, you look really handsome sir, you guys are great'.”
Brown said the State Department had investigated the incident, which resulted in someone telling him, “You're not Scott Brown from Ryan, New Hampshire, anymore. You're an ambassador.” Which, yes, that's true, but he's also still Scott Brown, the same guy who once told a crowd of supporters during a speech his daughters were single if anyone wanted to mingle.
That he's an ambassador and should act like one instead of acting like a dude drinking Bud Lights at a neighborhood barbecue would seem intuitive. This is one of the dangers of ambassadorships going to supporters of presidents even if they are totally unqualified for the gigs.
Brown also blamed the complaints partly on politics of people at the event who don't like Donald Trump. Which, given Trump's approval ratings, is probably a state of affairs he needs to get used to.
Watch Brown tell a crowd of strangers his daughters are available below.