That's especially true with the delayed action on indictments, which many believe will result in charges being brought in the summer or fall — making the scandal fresh for this year's election campaigns.

"If there's a big scandal that comes down from this, it could hand Scott Brown the [US Senate] election," says one Democratic campaign consultant.

Republicans and reform-minded Democrats alike are already sizing up potential candidacies — and not just where incumbents are rumored to be in the US attorney's crosshairs.

That includes statewide offices up for election in 2014 — starting with the open governorship. "It's going to be hard for machine candidates to win anymore," the consultant says. Grassroots-oriented outsiders "see blood in the water."

How much blood may depend a lot on what DiMasi does during his mysterious visit. At this point, nobody knows — which means that everybody's scared.

To read the Talking Politics blog, go to  thePhoenix.com/talkingpolitics. David S. Bernstein can be reached at  dbernstein@phx.com. Follow him on Twitter @dbernstein.

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