Will Massachusetts stay red in 2012? Ted Kennedy’s wife Vicki won’t challenge Scott Brown

Will Rahn Senior Editor
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Vicki Kennedy, wife of the late Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, will not run for the U.S. Senate in 2012.

“The Senate is not where I see my future,” Kennedy told the Boston Globe’s Scot Lehigh. “I can’t imagine running for elective office without Teddy at my side, and that really is what it all comes down to. I hope people respect that.’’

Kennedy said that although she had “more than one discussion about” running for office with her late husband she has no interest in the job. “Discussion is probably too long of a word. He raised it with me a few times, before he got sick and after he got sick, and every time I said, ‘You’re Senator Kennedy, and that’s it.’’’

Bay State liberals hoping for a strong challenge to Republican Sen. Scott Brown will likely be disappointed by Kennedy’s refusal to run. Prominent Democrats had been urging her to run according to the Washington Post, including Democratic Massachusetts Rep. William Delahunt and New York Senator Chuck Schumer. Delahunt said she would be a “superb candidate, no question.”

“A lot of Democrats are looking for a superstar, someone who is not a mere politician,” Republican political consultant Todd Domke told Fox News last December. “Vicki Kennedy is among the few who would be viewed as a front-runner.”

Since being elected one year ago, Scott Brown has proved himself one of the most popular politicians in the reliably Democratic state. “Scott Brown is not going to be a pushover for Democrats in 2012,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, in a statement last December. “Since taking office he’s been able to maintain the appeal to the center that got him elected as a Republican in a dark blue state.”

Kennedy family friend and political consultant Gerry Harrington told the Post he thinks it will take a “Herculean effort” to defeat Brown in 2012. “I would think it would take a Kennedy to beat him,” Harrington said. “Logic would dictate Vicki would be it.”

Brown won a won a surprise victory over Democrat Martha Coakley in a special election last January.