Stephen Spruiell on Chris Coons:
Beau [Biden] was widely expected to run in 2010, but last January, following the Scott Brown stunner in Massachusetts, Biden fils announced that maybe this just wasn’t his year. The party needed someone else to get beaten by Castle, so – loyal party man that he is – Coons stepped up to take the fall.
Dave Weigel responds:
You know who else this could describe? Scott Brown! After Mitt Romney and Andy Card passed on the race, Brown, a state senator, stepped up to challenge likely Democratic nominee Martha Coakley. A lot of people thought, at the time, that Brown was trying to run as good a race as possible to set himself up to win Coakley’s office when she got to the Senate.
Except for the fact that Mitt Romney would probably have lost and Andy Card would definitely have lost. Their names were batted around because Romney was the last Republican to win statewide in Massachusetts and Card has been talked about as a GOP statewide candidate since at least the Reagan years. In fact, Romney won both his Republican nominations in years when Card was talked about as a candidate and didn’t run. The national party might have been disappointed that neither Romney nor Card threw their hat into the ring, but not many Republicans who’ve actually lived in Massachusetts.
Scott Brown wasn’t considered likely to win in the beginning either, but nearly everyone familiar with state politics figured a guy who had won nine straight elections as a Republican in Massachusetts probably was at least auditioning for some kind of statewide office rather than gearing up to lose by 30 points. So you could argue that either of the Delaware Senate candidates is like Scott Brown: Both Brown and Chris Coons were fortunate in their general election opponents; both Brown and Christine O’Donnell had the good fortune to be running as Republicans this year. Either way, fortune favors the bold.