“What if…” It’s a “game” history buffs and political junkies play, wondering what would have happened if certain events and elections through the years had turned out differently. It’s fun and easy, and since it’s all speculation – nobody ever wins or loses.

This time, lets play the game looking forward at some things that could come to pass as the 2012 election year plays out.

One thing is certain now that former Governor Mitt Romney has the Republican nomination sewed up. For once, Baystate Republicans will occupy a place of honor at their convention in Tampa this summer. Coming from one of the bluest of the “Blue States”, our Republican delegates are usually seated at the far reaches of the hall and in a hotel a long way from the action. This year, they’ll be right up front and probably stay at the Headquarters Hotel as home state of the nominee.  If Romney wins in November, some Mass. GOP’ers are likely to get key posts in his administration.


There are many more –and more interesting – possibilities hanging on what happens with the Democrats this year. If Obama wins —  Hillary Clinton has said she does not want another term as Secretary of State. If Secretary Clinton goes  – Massachusetts senior Senator John Kerry seems a very likely choice to replace her. He chairs the Foreign Relations Committee and has already handled some key overseas missions for the President

If Kerry leaves the Senate for State next January, Massachusetts law calls for a special election within 145 to 160 days. That should put the special election sometime in June. , Meanwhile, the Governor would appoint an interim Senator who presumably could be a candidate in the special election. Let’s make it more interesting. If Kerry goes to State and Scott Brown wins in November, he’d be the new senior Senator. Assuming she loses a close race to Brown, would Elizabeth Warren turn around and run again in the special election?  Maybe.  I’m sure lots of Democrats would line up to run for this one. A 5 or 6 way Democratic Primary seems very possible. Republicans don’t appear to have another “Scott Brown” up their sleeves – so this immediately becomes the Democrats’ race to lose

What if Kerry leaves and Warren beats Brown? Now Warren suddenly become senior Senator, possibly on the day she’s sworn in. Does Scott Brown try to return to the Senate in the special election? Again, probably depends on how tight the Brown-Warren race finishes, but I’d guess he runs. What’s he got to lose? There’s no shame in a Republican losing in the Super-Blue Baystate –especially with the locally very popular Obama heading the ticket this fall. Beyond, that, Brown is really the only statewide star the Republicans have. What if Brown won the special election? Massachusetts two U.S. Senators would be the winner and loser of the 2012 Senate race. Now that’s a unique situation.

Now, if Obama beats Romney, one of the people he’ll want to thank and reward is Governor Deval Patrick. Patrick is proving to be one of the Presidents’ best surrogates on the campaign trail. If you don’t believe me, you should have heard the speech he gave at the June 2 Democratic State Convention in Springfield. Granted, it’s a very friendly crowd, but Patrick had the delegates standing and shouting their support for the President. He says he doesn’t want to go, but I’d say Patrick could be offered a top post (like Attorney General) or any opening that comes along on the Supreme Court. It could happen. Told you “What if” is a fun game.