Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Edward Markey is among a number of Democrats who are eyeing a run against popular Republican Sen. Scott Brown in 2012, a popular target ever since he captured the seat formerly held by the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. Others looking at the Brown seat are former Rep. Martin Meehan and Kennedy’s widow, Victoria Reggie Kennedy.
Meehan, D-Mass., has almost $4.9 million cash on hand, and Markey has $3.3 million, according to Federal Election Commission records, according to The Hill.
But taking on Brown will be no easy task, analysts say. A veteran with a safe seat like Markey is unlikely to take the bait.
“I would discount Markey,” political scientist Ross Baker of Rutgers University told The Hill
. “He has enormous seniority and he runs a major committee which is a real money magnet for the state. It’s always a quandary for a long-serving, senior, well-financed House member to risk the indignity of being a lowly Senate freshman with lowly committee assignments, with a larger, more diverse constituency.”
Brown seems to have mastered the art of being conservative in a state that can easily swing left, Baker told The Hill. He oted against healthcare reform and opposed the Supreme Court nomination of Elena Kagan, but he has broken with his party leaders on a Democratic jobs bill as well as Wall Street reform.
“He’s played a canny game. He understood immediately that if he was looked at as the Tea Party darling, he would be unable to hold on to that seat,” said Baker.
“What he’s done has been to calculate the offset. By the time he’s up, he may well have established a kind of rapport with the voters. He seems very resourceful and canny enough politically to know he’s not [Sen.] Jim DeMint,R-S.C., and he’s not going to be Jim DeMint. I imagine as strict as [Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell [Ky.] has been, they’ll continue to cut him some slack.”
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