Dynastic Forces May Have Made Scott Brown Balk at a Third Race for Senate

Thursday, February 28, 2013

When Scott Brown announced he would not be a candidate in the special U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts to choose a replacement for John Kerry, he said, “…I was not at all certain that a third Senate campaign in less than four years, and the prospect of returning to a Congress even more partisan than the one I left, was really the best way for me to continue in public service at this time.”
“At this time” refers generally to the current year, and, particularly, to the span of months required to fill the vacancy created when Kerry became Obama’s Secretary of State.  The special election will involve an April 30th primary and a June 25th final
But what if Brown had a longer timetable -- and other considerations -- in the back of his mind?
For example, he could also have decided against running for Senate because a victory in the special election would be short-lived, and the next regular election would be a killer.
The special election winner will serve the unexpired part of Kerry’s Senate term, which runs through 2014.  If he wants to remain in the Senate after that, he will have to start campaigning again only months after taking the seat on June 25.
If Brown had decided to run, and if Brown had prevailed in the final over Ed Markey or Steve Lynch, the candidates for the Democratic Senate nomination, wouldn’t he have been favored for re-election in the fall of 2014?
Yes, except for two big factors:
·         The overwhelming numerical and financial strengths of the Democratic Party in Massachusetts, and
·         Joseph P. Kennedy, III, the newly minted Congressman from the Fourth Massachusetts District.
A former legislator brought it into focus for me the other day when he said:
“Scott knew he could win this year, but so what?  As soon as he’s back in the Senate, the Democrats will be tuning up Joe Kennedy for 2014.  This is not a knock on Scott.  Beating a Kennedy in Massachusetts is practically impossible.  And this Kennedy has a lot going for him beyond his name: he’s young and earnest, handsome, smart, articulate, and squeaky clean.”
He was thinking, no doubt, of how Joe the Third holds degrees from Stanford and Harvard Law, served in the Peace Corps in the Caribbean, speaks Spanish fluently, and has never touched alcohol.
It must be something to be young Joe Kennedy! 
You’re the namesake of the founder of the Kennedy dynasty.  You’re 32 years old.  You’ve barely set foot in Washington, D.C., and other men are already hearing your footsteps in their heads. 
LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT SCOTT BROWN: Brown and his family are members of a large Protestant church in Franklin, but also have ties to a community of Roman Catholic nuns at Mount St. Mary’s Abbey in Wrentham, their hometown.   Over the years, the Browns have raised more than $5 million for the Trappistine order, money that has funded solar panels, a wind turbine and a candy manufactory at the abbey.

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