NASHUA, N.H.—Jim Rubens has been running for New Hampshire's Republican Senate nomination since last May. A quirky entrepreneur, onetime commune resident, and former two-term state senator, he might have even been the frontrunner—until Friday.
On Friday, in a hotel ballroom full of New Hampshire Republicans 45 minutes from Boston, Rubens got bigfooted. That's when Scott Brown, former Massachusetts senator and new New Hampshire resident, entered what Rubens ruefully called "a new phase of this long dalliance," announcing the formation of an exploratory committee for the New Hampshire Senate race in a speech to a GOP gathering. The committee will allow Brown to raise money ahead of a formal announcement of his candidacy, which is expected in the coming months.
"A big political wave is about to break in America, and the Obamacare Democrats are on the wrong side of it," Brown proclaimed. He choked up remembering vacations in New Hampshire with his grandparents when he was a boy. He said he'd decided to "get involved" again at the urging of his wife.
For Republicans, Brown's entry is the latest in a run of recent good news, from a special election in Florida earlier in the week to unexpectedly competitive Senate races in places like Colorado and Michigan. For Democrats, Brown's reemergence heightens a very bad case of déjà vu. In 2010, Brown's special-election triumph was the first concrete sign of the political backlash Democrats were about to face over healthcare reform; in 2014, Republicans hope he is once again the avatar of their comeback season.