Empty Barn Jacket Not Running for Senate

Scott “Empty Barn Jacket” Brown, who just lost his Massachusetts Senate seat to Elizabeth Warren, will not run for John Kerry’s seat in the special election on June 25.

So it looks as if he will run for governor in 2014 instead.

Brown won the special election in 2010 following Ted Kennedy’s death and then lost in the 20102 election for a full term.  He would have faced a similar situation — a special election for a short term, followed by having to run again in 2014 for a full term.

Republicans tend to do better running for governor (see Romney, Mitt) than senator in Taxachusetts.

Hello, Sen. Markey.


On Eve of Convention, Clinton-Obama ’08 Primary Wounds Reopened

As Bill Clinton prepares to make a major speech on President Obama’s behalf at the Democratic Convention in Charlotte this week, Ryan Lizza* offers this gem from the 2008 campaign:

“Tim Russert told me that, according to his sources, Bill Clinton, in an effort to secure an endorsement for Hillary from Ted Kennedy, said to Kennedy, ‘A few years ago, this guy would have been carrying our bags.'”

* “Let’s Be Friends,” The New Yorker

UPDATE — This sounded vaguely familiar, and I went back and found that in Game Change, this incident was reported as Clinton telling Teddy, “A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.”


Was Mitt Set Up on Bain?

I’m wondering if Mitt has been set up over Bain to make the story not about jobs, but about honesty.

Mitt ran twice in Massachusetts, with the story of how he’d caused workers to lose their jobs and benefits used against him both times.  Ted Kennedy used it effectively to defeat Mitt and keep his Senate seat.  But it didn’t work as well for Shannon O’Brien, who lost to Mitt for governor.

So the sad stories about the folks whom Mitt callously fired weren’t a sure thing for the presidential race.  Might work, might not.  Voters understand about the “creative destruction” part of capitalism, that jobs and industries come and go.  Mitt might have been especially ruthless about not giving folks notice and severance pay, but Americans realize that very few of us work at the buggy whip factory anymore.

But the Massachusetts history also offered another way to attack Mitt on Bain — Mitt’s insistence that he had left the company in February 1999 to run the Olympics and wasn’t involved in or responsible for anything that occurred after that date.  At the time it was called a part-time leave of absence, consistent with two prior leaves he’d taken — one to fix Bain Capital’s parent company when it was near bankruptcy and another to run for Senate.  It was assumed he’d return, as he had both other times.  Would he really cut off any involvement with this company he owned and was still head of and let it possibly be run into the ground?

So going into the 2012 race, Mitt was stuck with his unequivocal claims about when he’d left Bain, dating back both to his Massachusetts run for governor and his 2008 run for president.  But those claims are inconsistent with all kinds of documentary evidence, from SEC filings to candidate disclosures to contemporaneous newspaper articles.

I’m wondering if someone saw that the real way to catch Mitt was not to focus on his trail of lost jobs, but rather on his trail of lies.  I’m wondering which political party that someone belongs to.