Could Scott Brown and Martha Coakley be switching personalities?
Three years ago, Brown, a Republican, charmed deep-blue Massachusetts with his barn jacket and pick-up truck and whalloped Coakley, a Democrat, in a campaign for the U.S. Senate seat held by liberal icon Teddy Kennedy for nearly half a century.
Brown was the nicer guy, someone whom voters connect with, according to the national narrative. Writing for The Washington Post, E.J. Dionne J. observed: “Brown can walk into a tavern and make people feel he’s one of them,” in an article with a headline labeling him “Mr. Personality.”
Meanwhile, Coakley became the gaffe-prone loser who let a sure thing slip away. One standout mistake came when was asked about her lackadaisical campaign style. She replied by mocking Brown, who greeted voters outside sporting events, saying: “As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?”
Coakley, now running for governor of Massachusetts, is ahead by double digits in a recent survey by Public Policy Polling. She barnstormed the state after announcing her intention to run with more than a dozen appearances including — gasp! — a hand-shaking session outside a Red Sox game.
The man who beat her in 2010? He lost his re-election bid to Sen. Elizabeth Warren in 2012. He toyed with running for U.S. Senate in January and decided against it. Then he toyed with running for Massachusetts governor and decided against it. Next he showed up in Iowa, toying with a presidential run?
Today, reporter Shira Schoenberg from the Springfield Republican called to ask why Brown put his Wrentham house on the market — maybe he’s toying with a run for the Senate from New Hampshire, where he has owned a vacation home for 20 years?
The erstwhile Mr. Personality said, “I’m a private citizen now and it’s personal.”
Then he hung up the phone.