By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – You’ll be seeing and hearing a lot about Attorney General Martha Coakley Monday as she announces her candidacy for governor. And every story will likely take note of the fact that Coakley blew her 2010 run for U.S. Senate against Scott Brown, losing a seat that was considered a slam dunk for the Democrats.

The Coakley people expect it and, after nearly four full years of being constantly reminded of that debacle, they’re used to it. Still, it’s interesting that one of the more successful careers in recent state political history should be so strongly identified with its one glaring moment of failure.

So maybe we should take a moment to put the 2010 Brown/Coakley race in perspective.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

There’s no question that Coakley – like everyone else in the Massachusetts political world, including Scott Brown – thought the Democratic nominee would breeze to victory in that campaign. The state hadn’t elected a Republican to Congress in 16 years, and hadn’t sent one to the Senate since 1972.

But while Coakley and the rest of the Democratic machine were definitely caught napping in that race, it is wrong to remember it as strictly a Coakley meltdown.

Brown proved to be a surprisingly strong candidate, winning both TV debates. And he expertly rode a wave of backlash against Democratic party positions on terrorism and health-care reform.

Coakley was ridiculed for losing, and still is by some. But she came back and ran strong for re-election as AG, pulling more votes statewide than Deval Patrick did in his re-election run.

People love a comeback story, and Coakley fits the bill.

She may not win this race. But if she does lose, her spectacular failure three years ago won’t be the reason why.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News. 

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