This year we've witnessed a similar rise from the relative obscurity of state politics to an historic senate run by Scott Brown. Could this propel him to even higher office? Here's why I think so.
Because this was a special election in an off year, Brown all the attention he could want from the national media all to himself. Republican political operatives from all over the country came and worked for him as a tune up for the Fall election campaign. He also amassed a war chest that can be used to build support for other Republican candidates.
Brown has that elusive combination of charisma, populism and moderation that is always being sought for the national stage. He defies definition as liberal or conservative, opting instead to lay out how he would vote on specific issues. So while he says he is not pro-life, there is nary an issue related to abortion that he wouldn't vote the same as the pro-life block. He said he would have confirmed Sonia Sotomayor but many conservatives believe presidents enjoy constitutional prerogative to appoint judges. I have no doubt he would have also voted to confirm Roberts and Alito.
On marriage issues, he is a federalist believing the states should decide such issues. He voted to allow Massachusetts voters the right to vote on marriage. The Democrats prevailed and the current situation is the result of judicial decree, not the people's will.
In regards to 2012, Brown has a lot of national good will built up. he now has name recognition in all 50 states and people he can call upon in each. Even if the Democrats slide health care reform past us by one trick or another, he will be able to cast votes against stimulus III, Cap and Tax and other Obama priorities. He'll be known as the vote that restored bipartisanship and balance to the political debate and forced deal making into the light of day.
Brown has a military background, is strong on defense and is backed by police unions.
So what impedes Brown from a presidential run? First of all, good friend Mitt Romney. Romney worked behind the scenes to get Brown elected in state elections as well as this one and still has presidential aspirations. I believe Brown is more electable but he would not step in front of the man who helped him.
Brown's position on abortion is more nuanced than pro-life groups would like. Even this writer would prefer that he was more decidedly pro-life. Yet he may be able to convince more voters that he shares the views of the greatest number of them.
When 2012 campaigns heat up, Brown will only have served in the Senate for a year or so. Folks who now realize how unprepared Obama was to be president may not want to take another chance.
Is it crazy to even speculate on a presidential run? Crazier than the idea of a Republican winning the senate seat left vacant by one Ted Kennedy?