SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

The Nation

March 31, 2011

Democrats lack a heavy hitter against Sen. Brown

WASHINGTON — Democrats haven't found a solid challenger to GOP Sen. Scott Brown in liberal Massachusetts next year, stoking concerns the party could blow its best shot to take back the seat held for nearly a half-century by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.

It's a seat close to Democrats' hearts, still raw from their humiliating loss to the upstart Brown in 2010.

The senator's widow, Vicki Kennedy, has flatly ruled out running. So did former Rep. Joe Kennedy, who joked he was "feeling ill all of a sudden" when reporters recently asked him about challenging Brown.

The state's leading Democrat, Gov. Deval Patrick, insists he's not interested. Former Rep. Martin Meehan, flush with $4.8 million in campaign cash, has rejected pleas from party officials to jump in.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, who rarely minces words, described Brown's prospects bluntly.

"There's nobody that can beat him," he told the Boston Herald recently.

With a crowded field of lesser-known candidates expected to run, Democrats fret that a long, costly and divisive primary could sink their hopes of reclaiming a seat they feel they never should have lost. Democrats are facing a tough fight in 2012 to hang onto their slim majority in the Senate.

"The looming liability right now for the Democrats is to go through a bloody, messy and expensive primary and then turn around with just six weeks to take on Scott Brown," said Mary Anne Marsh, a Democratic analyst in Boston. "So that's why Democrats have to think long and hard about who is running and trying to solidify behind someone who has the best shot at beating Scott Brown."

Rep. Michael Capuano, a potential challenger whose district includes Harvard Square and Cambridge, said rallying behind a single candidate would boost his party's chances considerably.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
The Nation

AP Video
Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel David Perdue Wins Georgia GOP Senate Runoff 98-Year-Old Woman Left in Parked Truck Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Raw: MD Church Built in 1773 Ravaged by Fire Flight to Tel Aviv From US Diverted to Paris AP Review: Amazon Fire Adds Spark to Smartphones Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed
NDN Video
LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB'