MANCHESTER, N.H. (CBS) — Will former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown jump in the race to unseat New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen this year?
Brown’s not saying, but it’s had top pundits buzzing for months.
“The clock is ticking,” says political analyst Scott Spradling.
Brown has about three more months to file the necessary paperwork but Spradling says that could be too late to run an effective campaign.
“At some point he has got to make a decision about whether he’s going to run for office and if so which one,” said Spradling. “Because it seems like we’re in a seesaw battle right now between a race for U.S. Senate and running for President of the United States.”
Former New Hampshire Attorney General Tom Rath, who’s advised Republican heavyweights like Mitt Romney and the Bushes, agrees the guessing game needs to stop.
“You’ve got to get out there and indicate that you get the tenor and the mood of this state and you can reflect it,” said Rath. “And so if you’re going to do this there comes a time in which you have to make a decision and get in, and I think we’re probably right at that point.”
Rath says Brown would have a shot but it would be an uphill fight.
“Is there a political opportunity here and the answer is there probably is,” says Rath. “It may have less to do with Jeanne Shaheen and more to do with Barack Obama.”
Democrats meanwhile have pounced on Brown’s move from Massachusetts to New Hampshire.
“We really enjoy tourists and visitors but not necessarily for them to run for the US Senate,” said Ray Buckley, chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party.
But Rath says the carpetbagger argument may not be a significant deal breaker considering Brown has been a long-time summer resident of the Granite State.
“It’s not like he’s going to need a road map to get from Portsmouth to Manchester,” said Rath.
Top democrats, who like most, say they have no idea if Brown will run, say it looks like Brown wants to be wooed by the voters.
“Well maybe that’s why he takes off his shirt so often,” said Buckley. “I don’t know–he’s an interesting character. We’ve been playing along with this year-long striptease by him.”
Brown is expected to be a headliner at a Republican leadership conference in Nashua on Friday.
He did not return emails seeking comment about his plans.
Senator Shaheen’s office did not return an email seeking comment either about the potential match-up.
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