Could Rice’s withdrawal spark Scott Brown’s comeback?

Rachel Rose Hartman

Republican senators who opposed U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's potential nomination as secretary of state cheered her decision on Thursday to withdraw from contention.

But Republican Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts has something entirely different to cheer about: Rice's exit could set in motion a comeback path for Brown, who lost his re-election bid on Nov. 6 to Democrat Elizabeth Warren.

With Rice out of the running for secretary of state, focus turns to Massachusetts' other senator, Democrat John Kerry. And if Kerry is chosen for the Cabinet position, his Senate seat will be up for grabs next year.

The special election to replace Kerry could be Brown's road back to Washington—something he hinted at this week. "If there's anything my life has taught me, it's that there's always a second chance," Brown wrote in a farewell letter published on Friday in the Boston Globe.

And Brown clearly sounded like a candidate eyeing a comeback on Wednesday during his closing Senate floor speech. "I rise today to give my closing floor speech for this session in the United States Senate," Brown said. "Victory, and defeat, is temporary."

"Depending on what happens, and where we go, all of us, we may obviously meet again," he added. "But I'm looking forward to continuing on with those friendships, with continuing on working with my staff."

A Brown campaign spokesman did not immediately return Yahoo News' request for comment on Friday.

Though Massachusetts remains tough territory for statewide Republicans running for office, and Brown was just recently voted out, he has proven his ability to win as a special election candidate in the "blue" state: He stunned the nation in 2010 by winning a January special election to succeed the late Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Olivier Knox contributed to this story.