Scott Brown's post-election press conference was scheduled for 5 p.m. He arrived at 4:55, trailed by Sen. Pat Toomey, and started talking about his future.
"Life doesn't end when you lose an election," he said. "Aside from my marriage to my wife Gail, and my kids, being a senator has been the greatest privilege of my life."
As reporters trickled in, they offered variations on one question: Would Brown run for U.S. Senate again? "There's no vacancy." Yes, but what if John Kerry was promoted in the Obama administration? "I told him personally that I thought he would make a very good Secretary of State."
This wasn't surprising. Brown has not scattered his campaign staff to the winds. If he ran in a special election to replace Kerry, he could probably count on help from some of the aides that failed, in a bad year, to elect him and Mitt Romney. It's an irksome part of the White House's calculus as it staffs up. Brown remains more popular than most defeated incumbents, even if he clearly remains irritated by how the election ended.
"I was hopeful when I heard Sen.-elect Warren say she plans to be working in a bipartisan manner," he said. "So I'm hopeful you give her the same scrutiny you gave me during the last two and a half years, and we'll see."
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