STATE SENATOR SCOTT BROWN (R)
Brown is the only major Republican running at this point, so, barring a surprise entrant, he should cruise to his party's nomination. Reliably conservative, the 50-year-old Brown has nevertheless demonstrated an ability to work with Senate Democrats to have an actual impact on legislation. He's good-looking, likable, and is married to a well-known local TV broadcaster, with whom he has a superstar hoopster/singer daughter. (Her next album drops spring 2010!) State and national Republicans have considered him a rising star ever since he won his seat in a special election in 2004.
However, he was passed over by Kerry Healey when she was choosing a lieutenant governor to run with in 2006, and insiders say Charlie Baker is likely to do the same for his gubernatorial run.
By running an improbable Senate campaign, Brown can build up his statewide recognition and following, and demonstrate his fundraising capability. That could lead Baker to invite him on as his running mate, or prompt Brown to launch a run for another statewide office. Even if he chooses to simply run for re-election to the State Senate in 2010, he will have greatly improved his future prospects — so long as he doesn't make a fool of himself along the way.
HE'S NO TED KENNEDY, BUT . . . he'd be a completely new direction, and the Commonwealth's first Republican senator in most people's memory.
HOW HE WINS The Democrats screw up and nominate someone with a major exploitable flaw.
HOW HE LOSES Things go as expected.
To read the "Talking Politics" blog, go to thePhoenix.com/talkingpolitics. David S. Bernstein can be reached at email@example.com.
: Talking Politics
, World Politics, Tom Reilly, Nancy Pelosi, More