At a time of widening income inequality and a struggling economy, Brown sees himself as a determined champion of the middle class. The portrayal has substance. It is evident in his strong support for the Affordable Care Act and the stimulus package, both often criticized yet each essential in elevating many lives. The enactment of health-care reform, though not entirely to his liking, represents a culmination of what Brown has sought for years as a lawmaker.
The substance can be seen in legislation Brown has proposed. He has pressed for aligning better emerging industries, say, in clean energy, with the training of workers, part of his larger focus on advancing manufacturing. He has backed an infrastructure bank to support public works. He plunged into farming matters as something of a legislative newcomer yet quickly got up to speed.