Kennedy Run Could Throw Dem Rivals Into Lion’s Den

Edward M. Kennedy Jr.’s emergence in the Bay State’s latest looming special U.S. Senate election would be a tectonic game changer, forcing leading local Democrats to think twice about jumping in and bringing a tidal wave of national money, influence and headlines to both sides of the race — again.

With the late senator’s son mulling a run, according to his brother Patrick J. Kennedy, Democrats are already gaming their options for the expected race to replace U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry if he is confirmed as secretary of state. Nationally, it’s a chance for the party to bring the late Liberal Lion’s name back to the Senate. For Republicans, that name is a red flag that could fire up the right opponent’s campaign.

Kennedy would have access to “the brightest political minds and strategists” and an avalanche of campaign cash, Ferson said. But a top Republican strategist notes that cuts two ways.

“National Democrats are longing to bring Camelot back,” said GOP operative Ford O’Connell. “Republicans have a chance to narrow Democrats’ lead in the Senate.”

While U.S. Sen. Scott Brown — about to surrender his seat to U.S. Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren — is seen as an automatic GOP nominee if he wants it, Democrats could jeopardize their own chances with a prolonged primary fight. Other top Democrats seen as possible candidates include Obama strategist David Simas, and U.S. Reps. Edward J. Markey, Stephen Lynch and Michael E. Capuano.

“Time is not on their side,” O’Connell said. “I think you may see some internal pressure because they realize a primary bloodbath benefits Scott Brown, especially considering Ted Kennedy Jr. is inexperienced.”

Read more from Chris Cassidy at the Boston Herald

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Analysis & Political Strategy