Scott Brown should announce he won’t run for the Senate if John Kerry is named secretary of State or DefenseReading the Friday New York Times and watching the cable news, it appears that Senate Republicans are nominating Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) for the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Nobel Peace Prize put together. Good. Kerry as a statesman is already a historically important chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and as a war hero has amply proven his courage under fire. Of course, when Republicans launch their unfair attacks on U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, the thought occurs that some of them are motivated to praise John Kerry to promote Scott Brown. There is an easy way to put this to rest. Brown should announce he will not run for the Senate seat if Kerry is named to the Cabinet.
Brown, the outgoing GOP senator of Massachusetts, has many career options. He could run for governor. He could make his fortune in the private sector. Or he could run again for the Senate, though if Kerry is named to the Cabinet Brown would be the perpetual Senate candidate, having run first in a special election, a second time for reelection against Elizabeth Warren, a third time to fill a vacancy and a fourth time for the full Senate term in 2014.
The smart move for Brown, and the right move, would be to announce that he would not run for the open seat if Kerry is named to the Cabinet. Given the choice between being the statesman who puts his country and state first, and not running, versus being the constant candidate who runs four times for the same seat, Brown would come out smelling like roses if he offers to put his ambitions aside this time for higher purposes.
Meanwhile, for Senate Republicans, their overheated opposition to the potential nomination of Rice for secretary of State will either abate or no longer be viewed as a partisan attempt to win another Senate seat through the backdoor of Scott Brown.
The Republican admiration for Kerry is sincere and shared by Democratic admiration for Kerry. He is among the most qualified candidates in America for any Cabinet position and for the presidency itself. Kerry is a statesman of world-class magnitude and a highly decorated warrior who has vast credibility and clout with both diplomatic and military leaders around the world. He is on course to become one of the most important chairmen of the Foreign Relations committee in the history of the Senate.
If he refuses, the voters of Massachusetts can consider this refusal when Brown next runs for public office.
Saturday, 1 December 2012