It would be much more devastating to Democrats if a Republican such as Brown were to take over the Corner Office, and that’s what has party leaders most concerned.

And Brown’s prospects of getting elected governor look to be much brighter than in another Senate race later this year. By 2014, Democrats also will be seriously weakened by a series of scandals and screwups under Gov. Deval Patrick, with several Democratic top lawmakers tainted or even on trial in the Probation Department patronage affair.

Brown would be a perfect choice to clean up Beacon Hill and get Democrats and Republicans to actually work together — much the way former Gov. William Weld and even former Gov. Mitt Romney did.