If Hillary Clinton could dodge the carpetbagger label in New York, why couldn't former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., do so in New Hampshire? A run for the Senate by Brown, who fueled speculation recently by dropping "MA" from his Twitter handle, would put Democrat Jeanne Shaheen in jeopardy.
Brown owns a home in the Granite State, so he'd be eligible to run. His grass-roots support includes a University of New Hampshire student's "Draft Scott Brown" movement. And there would be a certain symmetry if Brown, who was elected in 2010 to try to block Obamacare, defeated a Democrat who voted for the law.
A GOP insider familiar with New Hampshire tells me that Brown "would be an instant contender" and that close to 40 percent of the state's voters have lived in Massachusetts, so voting for a former Massachusetts resident would not be much of a stretch. Indeed, five of the past 14 U.S. senators from New Hampshire were born in Massachusetts.
Brown has shown he can win a statewide race in New England. His fiscally conservative and socially libertarian profile would work well in New Hampshire. If he runs, his success, like most races against incumbents in 2014, will turn on his ability to tie Shaheen to the unpopular president and make her an equal partner in the Obamacare fiasco. These days, that doesn't seem like such a tall order.