CBS reported this as “breaking news” last night, and it might be in Massachusetts. Scott Brown has decided to take a pass on the gubernatorial election in Massachusetts, while apparently keeping his options open for something a little higher:
Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown will not be a candidate for Massachusetts governor next year. He made the announcement Wednesday on NightSide With Dan Rea on WBZ NewsRadio 1030.
He had been mentioned as a possible GOP candidate.
Brown won the 2010 special election for U.S. Senate, beating Attorney General Martha Coakley. In 2012, he lost to U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
This past Sunday, Brown told supporters at the Iowa State Fair that he is “exploring a possible run” for president in 2016.
This seems very odd to me, in one sense at least. A run for governor would probably do no damage to Brown’s standing in Massachusetts for later political campaigns, and may even hold some chance of success. Deval Patrick is coming off of two terms in office that have seen health-care costs explode (thanks to RomneyCare!), and while the state is reliably liberal, it has been known to elect Republicans to the top job, even if they don’t for Senate and House seats — Mitt Romney and William Weld being the recent examples. Brown, who remains a well-regarded figure in his home state, at least has a shot at winning in that election.
As Allahpundit pointed out earlier this week, he has no shot on the national stage, none at all. Unlike other Senate short-timers, Brown has no real national following — just conservatives who were happy to poke Barack Obama in the eye by rallying behind Brown to beat Martha Coakley in a special election. Brown has no executive experience, and lost the last two elections in which he ran. The space he’d be most likely to occupy on the primary political spectrum would already be occupied by Chris Christie for northeastern Republican moderate, without Christie’s electoral success or forceful personality. Even for stunt candidacies, this doesn’t make the grade. What agenda does he want to highlight in this process? What future office does he seek, if he won’t go for the open gubernatorial spot? Help me out here.