He's the new Republican voters were sending to Washington, taking over a seat that had been in Democratic hands for decades, and the news media couldn't get enough of him - camera lights trailed his every step, notebooks and tape recorders duly captured his every pronouncement.
His name: Michael Flanagan.
I know: Who?
Flanagan was something of a Scott Brown, circa 1994. Rather than winning the Senate seat that the late Ted Kennedy had held for 47 years, as Brown did this week, Flanagan had unseated the 36-year veteran of the House, the powerful (if at that point criminally indicted) Dan Rostenkowski of Chicago.
The parallel isn't exact, of course - for one thing, Flanagan was "a pale, bespectacled, mustachioed man in khaki pants," as I described him in an article about a freshman-orientation seminar for newly elected representatives that was held in a Baltimore hotel shortly after the 1994 elections.
In other words: not exactly a candidate for the kind of Cosmo centerfold that the telegenic Scott Brown once posed for.
Still, both were swept into office in a feverish climate of change. Flanagan was part of the so-called Class of '94, the 73 new GOP members who took back control of the House from the Democrats after 40 years.
Brown, though elected by his lonesome, is being promoted as a one-man avatar of change. He'll single-handedly derail health care reform, if not all of President Barack Obama's agenda, as the self-proclaimed "41st vote" breaking the Democrats' filibuster-proof majority. He's merely the leading edge of what Newt Gingrich called "a potential tidal wave building that could shatter the Democratic Party for generations."
Oh, yes, and he'll also run on a ticket with Sarah Palin to take back the White House in 2012.
But, hey, no pressure, Scott!
I'm not predicting that Scott Brown will someday be as obscure as Michael Flanagan - even in our sped-up world, surely a guy should be allowed to take office before someone suggests that he could end up gone after a single term. (Flanagan lost to another obscurity named, um, Rod Blagojevich.)
But it seems like we're stuck in this mode where elections have become all about sending a message of change. Which is fine, but change to or from what?
Change was what the Class of '94 was all about, although it didn't succeed at initiatives such as curtailing government spending and limiting terms. Eventually, another message of change would sweep a Democratic majority into both houses in 2006, and Obama into the White House two years later.
And now, we're supposedly ready for change again.
Here's the thing with change, though: The agents of it can end up being the target of it. You run against government, but if you win, you become a part of it.
The mood these days, this free-floating anger that is fueling the current call for change, promises to make this election year a particularly volatile one.
The restlessness has already had its impact, not just on elections but on governing. Yes, governing - that thing that is supposed to be the whole point of elections. You see it in Annapolis, where everyone is tiptoeing through the marble hallways, afraid of doing anything that might freak out already jittery voters in an election year.
That's why Gov. Martin O'Malley unveiled a timid budget, and the legislators are avoiding any controversial issues.
Meanwhile, in Washington, health reform teeters by virtue of a single election.
Changing who is in office is easy; changing a system in which millions remain uninsured and the rest of us pay ever higher and unsustainable costs is hard.