Deval Patrick- Yes. May be the only Democrat with statewide organization and money raising potential and narrative to take on the empty barncoat and win a one-on-one contest. But, he would need to be pressured from the WH and DC crowd to do it. He shows little interest in it and appears to be frying other fish.
Kennedy’s- No. Vickie, Joe, and Joe III are smart enough to know that a Kennedy name on the ballot will lead to another Talk-radio barrage of “it’s not the Kennedy seat” nonsense (which helped Scott Brown raise millions from out of state contributors who never heard of him) Who needs it?
Former Kennedy staffer Gerry Kavanaugh- Probably can’t. Smart, connected, personable, looks like he could be a Kennedy cousin, access to heavy political donors, understands the issues, good talker, married to former Speaker McGee’s daughter Colleen, respected resource on development issues…but, would be handicapped with the same “Not a Kennedy seat” mantra and Beltway Boy-lobbyist stigma.
The Beltway Boy Delegation: They can’t. They won’t. Our Congressional delegation is focused on holding onto their own District lines and Congressional seats and not being risk takers will opt to pray for a Kerry departure and another Special Senate race in 2012…no risk contest. Markey has a history of stepping up to the line and running back to safety. And former Congressman Marty Meehan has nixed the idea of spending his war chest on this race and will stay put at UMass Lowell.
Beltway Boy Hamlets:
Rep. Mike Capuano- Probably can’t. Smart. Passionate. Seems angry (even when he’s not). Too hot for TV. Couldn’t win the Special primary even with Diane Patrick’s endorsement. GOP made him the poster boy for Beltway Politics and a Pelosi insider and would again. Independent voters elect US Senators and they will not be electing a Beltway Boy against Brown’s “independent, works with both sides” spiel.
Rep. Steve Lynch- Can’t. Smart. Strong advocate for unions and middle class workers. Won’t be able to rally all of the state party Dems around his candidacy…pro-life position doesn’t cut it in Democratic convention…party regulars will sit on their hands and let Brown win.
Senate Special Also-Ran, Alan Khazei_ Can’t. Co-founder of City year raised and spent $3 million in the Senate Special primary, but failed (even with the Globe endorsement) to catch any fire or traction. May be able to scrape together 15% at convention but that’s where he would peak. A little quirky personality…the fully accessorized pirate costume on Halloween may not have been best choice in a year when barncoats were the costume rage.
Lt. Gov. Also-Ran Bob Massie- Can’t. Like a phoenix, Bob Massie has returned to the Dem. political stage. Ran on the Dems weakest ticket with Roosevelt way back when. Has a long and complicated narrative-Historian parents,hemophilia, HIV, divinity school, marriage, divorce, kidney transplant, non-profit founder…hard to keep it all straight, but he is nice, smart and very liberal/progressive and looking for rebirth. Appeal will be limited to progressive Dems. A great Oprah guest candidate but will not wrench independent voters away from Brown. File: Nice off-beat guys finish last.
Mayor Setti Warren Probably can’t. Smart, ambitious, African-American, veteran, articulate, aide to Kerry, good narrative…Won very close election for Mayor of Newton little more than a year ago and is now looking for an exit straight to US Senate. Hopes to parlay “Patrick and Kerry are my bff’s” into statewide support. Problem: Deval and Kerry have many bff’s in this scrum. Fellow Mayors statewide and citizens of Newton and Balser supporters are (and have good reason to be) amazed at his hubris…as Dem. and independent voters may well be. He expects to benefit from the Dem. minority vote that sat out the Special Senate race and who will turn out for Obama in 2012…but, Independents decide finals.
Elizabeth Warren- Can’t, won’t, don’t. Dan Payne’s designated “Only heavy hitter” in consideration..if President Obama had the fortitude to name her the post she should be in (permanent head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) and fight for it to stick, her name would be mute in this discussion. She belongs right where she is. Efforts to draft the little-known woman from Harvard University to run against Downtown Scotty Brown seems almost demeaning (to her)…Write Obama,urge his action to appoint Warren.
THE OTHER UNDECIDEDS
The other Mayor:
Mayor Kim Driscoll Probably can’t. Superstar in Essex County, rising star in Dem. party statewide…successful 4 term mayor. intelligent, quick wit, politically astute, innovative, popular with and respected among Mayors and local electeds, VP Mass. Mayors Assn….champion of municipal issues, more personable than Coakley and a relentless campaigner…strong Patrick/Murray supporter…Salem/Essex County is a small base…Fundraising on larger scale needed will be huge challenge…(Coakley raised $5 million for Primary by being the “almost certain winner”, Dems this year will be the “long shots” and money will be tougher to get, especially for newcomers to statewide races)…Key MA female donors (HRC/MC contributors) may sit out primary waiting for better odds (which is why it takes so long for women to climb the ladder.)
Robert Pozen Can’t Successful businessman reported to be considering a run for US Senate. Just as another ego to spare, money to burn, businessman failed to take flight in spite of spending $8.5 million ($7.5 was his own money), Robert will hit a similar reality. Bob should take a long hard look into the eyes of whatever political consultant is convincing him that this is a winnable adventure (and worth every penny taken from his deeper than deep pockets to have an ego boost for a short period of time) and say, “Do you have me confused with Steve Paglialucca?!”
OTHER ALREADY DECLARED CANDIDATE:
Marrissa DeFranco, Definitely Can’t– Middleton Dem. Town Committee member, immigration lawyer, Alternate Delegate to Dem. Convention…Middleton’s answer to Grace Ross, self-appointed savior for the Democratic Party…has filed paperwork with federal campaign finance, husband as treasurer. Unlikely to get 10,000 signatures or 15% at convention but will demand to be heard at every Dem. event between now and then.
Sad but true, the only way to change those “can’t win” designations into “can win” is to take away the greatest stumbling block and Brown’s greatest asset in this race. Take away the need for the Democratic candidate to battle through an expensive and divisive convention and primary contest. Get behind one candidate with the best shot of bringing a fresh, compelling, energetic and determined message to recapture Democratic and Independent middle class voters who are far more concerned about Main Street than K Street who were lost to the artful dodger in the Special Senate race.
Senator Scott Brown will win unless and until the Democratic Party (that failed to truly rally behind Coakley after the primary) decides to get serious about doing what is necessary to take the people’s seat back by supporting one candidate who will actually represent the people when elected (no costume needed).
PS on Brown’s DSCC poll numbers: they look as high as Martha Coakley’s numbers were at this time 2 years ago…the rest is history.