Let it not pass without notice: March 5 is a historic anniversary. It was 11 months ago today that Scott Brown, who’d just lost re-election to his U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts, appeared in Nashua, N.H., and refused to “rule out” a run there. Democrats got a little worried. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who won the state’s Senate seat in 2008, would be on the ballot again in November 2014.
No Republican then living in New Hampshire looked strong enough to challenge her. But Brown, by dint of his surprise win in Massachusetts’ January 2010 special election, fills Democrats with unreasonable terror. And the media loves covering Scott Brown. There commenced a long period of speculation:
April 14, 2013: “Scott Brown Might Be Pondering Another Senate Run.”
Aug. 19, 2013: “Former Sen. Scott Brown Has Funds to Spend.”
Nov. 8, 2013: “Scott Brown Gets a Plea to Run in NH.”
Dec. 5, 2013: “Will Scott Brown Run for Senate? Only He Knows For Sure.”
Dec. 16, 2013: “Brown’s Move to New Hampshire Fuels Talk of Senate Race.”
Feb. 3, 2014: “Wondering if Scott Brown is serious about running in New Hampshire? This picture will clear it up.”
Feb. 18, 2014: “Scott Brown no longer under contract with Fox News; Ex-senator mum on whether he will run in N.H.”
Feb. 19, 2014: “Scott Brown Renews His Fox News Contract Despite Senate Rumors.”
And today, finally: “Scott Brown Denies Fox News Host’s Tweet That He’s Running For Senate.”
It’s been 11 months. If Brown jumped into the race today, he’d have nine months to campaign. Plenty of time! But the total absence of a campaign doesn’t mean the press can’t speculate or Brown’s rivals can’t fulminate. Just this week, Shaheen’s campaign sent its donor list an alert, headlined: “He’s in.” The “he” in question was Bob Smith, a two-term New Hampshire senator who lost in 2002, moved to Florida, ran for Senate for a while there, and moved back.