will work to defeat him in the state’s Republican primary next year.
“We believe the Democrats’ policies are destroying the country. Why let them take a Republican vote with them?” Scott Wheeler, the group’s leader, told National Journal last week.
Brown is doubtless sweating bullets over a challenge from his right as he launches a book tour and announces he has $7 million cash on hand.
A Democrat should pose a more plausible threat to Brown keeping his seat -- but which Dem? Rep. Michael Capuano, the second-place finisher in the Democratic primary last time around, will be deciding over the summer. Alan Khazei, the third-place finisher, also appears to be keeping his options open without committing. In fact, at this point, there's just one "real" (per Swing State Project) candidate:
Bob Massie was the 1994 candidate for Lt. Governor, but he's better known for his entrepreneurial work, which includes investing in a fair amount of socially conscious stuff. He also has quite the interesting resume: Episcopal priest with a Harvard Business Ph.D who also happens to be one of the longest-surviving HIV patients ever.
There's also continuing hopeful buzz around Elizabeth Warren.
Meanwhile, Doug Rubin, former chief of staff to Gov. Deval Patrick, took to the conservative Boston Herald to throw out a few more names. And what a list it is. Let's get the big one out of the way first: Rubin suggests Martha Coakley:
Remember, Rocky won the rematch against Apollo Creed. Coakley showed grace and determination after her loss to Brown, and won re-election as AG easily. She’s been a consistent advocate for consumers, and her new public corruption unit shows she is willing to tackle the tough issues head on.
Coakley is doing excellent work as AG. Massachusetts is lucky to have her in that capacity. But...no. Just no. Not only should Coakley not run for Senate again, the very earth around the remnants of her pathetic campaign should be sowed with salt.
Which brings us to Senate President Therese Murray, of whom Rubin says:
She has done an admirable job leading the Senate, helping guide the state through economic uncertainty, difficult budgets and a spate of ethics issues. She was also a driving force and steady hand in the Coakley campaign. In a field that would benefit greatly from a strong female presence, Murray may be the strongest.
I don't particularly share Rubin's admiration for Murray's work in the state Senate. But in addition, she was one of Coakley's key surrogates last year, and that means that the salt we're sowing would affect her, too.
The crack Rubin is apparently smoking also led him to suggest Rep. Jim McGovern, who is an excellent congressman and generally known to be a House lifer without any interest in this race; Warren Tolman, a principled Democrat with lots of good positions who was last seen in politics losing a gubernatorial primary to the person who went on to lose to Mitt Romney; and state party chair John Walsh. Blue Mass Group hails Walsh as a grassroots superhero who was instrumental in holding the state in 2010 -- but being a good behind-the-scenes organizer doesn't automatically make you a compelling candidate.
Most likely, Rubin was currying favor with or offering pats on the head to various people who are influential enough in state politics to merit some kind of lip service despite not being good prospects for a run against a relatively popular senator with a ton of cash on hand. But did he think we wouldn't notice he was engaging in crazy talk?