Scott Brown’s announcement that he’s not running for Senate has everything to do with Democratic Representative Edward Markey. As recently as December, there was a feared calamity among Democrats should John Kerry vacate his Senate seat for a potential secretary of state appointment. An untidy primary for the special election and the prospect of resurrecting Brown was almost too much to bear.
Two things have changed — both related to Markey. With uncharacteristic cohesiveness for Democrats, the national party, Vicki Kennedy, and Kerry himself circled around Markey as the candidate to succeed Kerry. In addition, Brown no longer seems dominant now that he’d face a capable consensus candidate — probably Markey.
Brown won his Senate seat a few years ago by surprising the Democratic machine, and Martha Coakley was a shrinking violet of a candidate. Now, he’d have difficulty revving up the fund-raising and enthusiasm on the heels of his disappointing Senate race loss to Elizabeth Warren.
Brown may believe that his best shot is the Massachusetts governorship when Deval Patrick leaves. Plus, that offers the prospect of a consolidation of state power rather than of dividing it as one of two senators where his vote would effectively be canceled out by Warren’s.