Saturday, February 02, 2013

Scott Brown passes on another Senate run

By Richard K. Barry

In an announcement initially made via a text message to the Boston Globe, former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown said that he would not seek the open seat left by the departure of John Kerry. It seems that major news announcements can now be made with words like: "U R the first to know. Not running."

His stated reason for not jumping in seems to have more to do with the fact that he so recently ran full-out campaigns in 2010 and 2012, and, if successful in the June special election, would have to gear up for a fourth campaign in 2014 to win a full term. 

This is an aspect of electoral political sometimes lost on the general public: campaigns are a significant commitment by the candidates and can take a superhuman effort to survive. The thought of four major campaigns in four years would be incredible for anyone, even a relatively young and robust young man like Brown.

In his own words, as reported by the Boston Globe:
“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,” Brown said in a statement. “And I know it’s not the only way for me to advance the ideals and causes that matter most to me.” 

Okay, so the usual blather about dysfunctional Washington. But perhaps more interesting is the suggestion that there might be a "better way" for him to continue in public service. The Globe makes the point that Brown may yet enter the race for governor in 2014, noting that Republicans tend to fare better in races for state office in Massachusetts than in races for federal office.

Is it too obvious to suggest that Brown's plans likely include all the calculations suggested above: too many races in too short a time to attempt to get back to Washington, but also a better shot at success should he set his sites on the State House?

Or maybe he just wants to get back to Wall Street from whence he came to reap the big bucks made possible in part by the public bailout so many of his GOP colleagues claim to disdain. 

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