The Mass GOP Bench

imageThe news that Susan Rice will not be the next Secretary of State has reignited speculation that we will have another US Senate special election. We have already chronicled Some of Scott Brown’s obstacles to winning another special election. The state’s bench on the GOP side, which is deep enough to throw a primary fight in Brown’s path, is another one.

A US Senate seat is an awfully big prize for folks who see themselves as big names in the state. Charlie Baker, Richard Tisei, Kerry Healy, and maybe even the state’s first female governor Jane Swift, are just some of the potentially viable rivals for the Republican nomination.

The only real chance the GOP has of winning a US Senate seat in Massachusetts is by nominating a high profile person with a long track record of moderation and accomplishment. Evidence of personal dissatisfaction with the party’s conservative wing in Washington would help as well.

Former governor Bill Weld, who coincidentally just moved back to the state, may fit the bill. Unlike Scott Brown, Weld could credibly make the case that he will not provide aid and comfort to the Senate GOP leadership in its obstructionist efforts. Try as he might, Brown’s inexperience and intellectual mediocrity made it impossible to persuade liberal and moderate Massachusetts voters that a pick up truck driving Everyman could effectively stand up to his party’s leadership.

About Jerold Duquette

Jerold Duquette is an associate professor of political science at Central Connecticut State University. He is the author of Regulating the National Pastime: Baseball and Antitrust and has published articles and book chapters on campaign finance reform, political parties, Massachusetts politics and political culture, public opinion, and political socialization. Professor Duquette lives in Longmeadow, MA with his wife and four children.
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