One of the Worst Senate Candidates in Years Now May Run for Governor

Matt Berman

Martha Coakley's 2010 special-election campaign for the late Ted Kennedy's Senate seat was not even slightly pretty. "The candidate in this race and the campaign have been involved in the worst case of political malpractice in memory," a senior Democratic official said in the wake of Coakley's 52-47 perecent loss. Republican Scott Brown never even led Coakley in polling until a few days before the election. The loss ended the Democrats' 60-seat Senate super majority, and seriously scuttled President Obama's first-term agenda. The Democratic official called it "one of the worst debacle [sic] in American political history." President Obama, who campaigned for her, was "surprised and frustrated ... not pleased."

Now, three years later, Martha Coakley is looking for a comeback.

The Boston Globereports that Coakley is "giving serious consideration" to running for governor of Massachusetts in 2014. While this may seem outlandish on its face because of her nightmare 2010 campaign, Coakley actually has a strong case for a run.

Since her failed Senate bid, Coakley has been rehabilitating her reputation in her gig as attorney general. In early 2012, The Boston Globefound that Coakley was the most popular statewide figure in the state. At that time, she was viewed favorably by 62 percent of likely Massachusetts voters, and unfavorably by only 23 percent. She also now has strong support from Massachusetts women's interest groups. It's a pretty solid place to be, little more than a year out from the election, especially for someone who now knows exactly how you decimate a huge polling lead, and may just have an idea of how to prevent that from happening again.

And maybe even more intriguing for horse-race watchers? Now that he's out of the Senate, Scott Brown is also reportedly considering a run for the governorship. For Coakley, it may be time to get some revenge.