By Ryan Isakow
9 months after relinquishing his Senatorial office to Elizabeth Warren, Scott Brown is making the rounds to Iowa, implying a possible presidential run. This is the latest of a series of hints from Brown about a return to political office; other possibilities include Governor of Massachusetts and Senator for New Hampshire (Brown has a second home in the granite state). The speculation over a return to office has brought national media attention back to Brown after a post-election fall of coverage.
After almost entirely disappearing from the national media, Scott Brown is once again creating buzz for himself. This is no small feat – after losing a high profile election, it’s usually difficult for candidates to stay relevant. Scott Brown has also managed to stem the bleeding in his number of Facebook followers, accrued thanks in part to the large outside Tea Party support during his 2010 election.
After gaining 70,000 followers in the run-up to the election, Brown lost 10,000 likes between the election and April. He’s almost closed the gap, and as speculation over a possible run increases he should be able to leverage publicity into a renewed social media presence.
Scott Brown’s biggest challenge since he lost the 2012 election is figuring out where he can reenter politics. A return to the Senate from Massachusetts seems unlikely; the next election would be 2014 against Ed Markey, who has been in Congress for decades and has a strong base of support. In addition, it is hard to imagine Brown getting the same out of state grassroots support he got in 2010, during the height of the health care debate.
New Hampshire provides a safer ground, but bringing a political career between states is difficult at best – James Shields is the last person to serve in multiple Senate delegations, representing Illinois in 1849, Minnesota in 1858, and Missouri in 1879. Waitman Thomas Willey also served as Senator for both Virginia in 1861 and West Virginia in 1863. Unfortunately for Brown, the lack of civil wars and the direct election of Senators make a similar feat unlikely.
This leaves him with Governor or President. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is not running for reelection, offering an open seat for Brown to try and renew his political career. Running for President offers a competitive Republican primary with the added bonus of running as a recently defeated Senator with less than two years spent actually in office – half as much as Barack Obama when he was elected president. If I were Scott Brown, I know what I would pick.
We’ll be keeping an eye on Scott Brown’s attempt to reenter public service. Wherever that may be.