As the hardreading staff at It’s Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town noted a couple of weeks ago, there are subterranean rumblings about Scott Brown (R-I Just Cleaned My Garage) running not for the U.S. Senate seat John Kerry (D-What Garage? I Just Moved the Hydrant) is vacating, but for Massachusetts Governor.
Latest rumbling? This piece from Politico:
It’s not often an ex-senator gets a shot at his old job just months after losing. So Scott Brown is widely expected to jump at the chance, running in a special election for John Kerry’s seat that presumably will become vacant within weeks.
But there are compelling reasons for Brown to pass on what would be his third Senate campaign in four years — and he’s thinking long and hard about them.
Topping the list: In 2014, he could run instead for Massachusetts governor, a job that Republicans have had much more success winning and keeping, as Mitt Romney can attest.
“The tug of history is toward a gubernatorial run,” the piece says. “Bay State Republicans simply fare much better running for state offices than federal offices.” Beyond that:
“You don’t have all that national gunk on you” running for governor, said Richard Tisei, the former minority leader of the state Senate who lost a congressional race in November. “People tend to look at you more as an individual. The national brand is hard to overcome in the state.”
Even if Brown did win the upcoming special election, the Politic piece concludes, a loss in the “higher-turnout [2014 general election] could end his political career.”
Wouldn’t want that now, would we?
Politico’s air-castle speculation comes hard on the heels of this Glen Johnson item in Sunday’s Boston Globe:
For all the talk of Brown running for governor of Massachusetts in 2014, instead of the US Senate this year (and again in 2014, when Kerry’s term expires), there is a practical hurdle to that: a $500 limit on individual contributions to state political candidates.
A hallmark of Brown’s two Senate campaigns has been prolific fund-raising, starting with his January 2010 special election campaign. He finished with a $7.2 million balance that gave him a running start for his 2012 reelection campaign.
In his race with Warren, Brown raised another $30 million. Warren took in $42 million herself, making their campaign the most expensive Senate race in Massachusetts history.
Both candidates benefited from the $2,500 limit on federal donations. Simply put, they could collect more money from fewer people, a 5-to-1 ratio over what candidates in state elections can collect.
Were he to mount a gubernatorial campaign, Brown would be prohibited from transferring any money left in his federal campaign account.
And then there’s this Kimberly Atkins column from Monday’s Boston Herald:
First, there’s the silent waiting game he’s playing before announcing whether he’ll throw his hat in the ring for the upcoming special Senate election, leaving his party in limbo as the Dem ocrats mobilize, raise funds and prepare for battle. Brown’s silence is causing some Republicans to wonder whether he’ll skip the race in favor of a gubernatorial bid next year, a move that would leave the party scrambling to find another candidate.
Atkins has the opposite conclusion from Politico: “The Senate race, according to both Republicans and Democrats I’ve talked to, is his best shot at a victory.”
Scott Brown. Senate race? Gubernatorial race?
Welcome to the Scott Brown Experience.
By the way, good name for a rock band.
(Tip o’ the pixel: Dave Barry.)