Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 2:58 pm
The Boston Herald caused a bit of a stir Monday, reporting that Mitt Romney's eldest son, Tagg, is considering a bid for the Massachusetts Senate seat long held by new Secretary of State John Kerry.
His candidacy would bail out Republicans there who were deflated by former Sen. Scott Brown's decision last week not to run in the June 25 special election. Tagg Romney would bring high name recognition and fundraising heft to a race that otherwise might not have any big-name Republican.
On the other hand ... here are two numbers that might dissuade a candidacy by the 42-year-old venture capitalist: 34 and 23.
Thirty-four is Mitt Romney's approval rating back in 2006, not long before he left the governor's office. And 23 is how many percentage points President Obama beat Mitt Romney by in Massachusetts in the November election.
If Tagg Romney nevertheless enters the race, he'll be following in his father's footsteps. Recall that Mitt Romney also ran for Senate back in 1994 — which gives us a third number to mull over: 17. That's how many percentage points incumbent Democrat Ted Kennedy won that race by.
In the bid to replace Kerry in the Senate, Democratic House members Edward Markey and Stephen Lynch already have announced they are seeking their party's nomination.
S.V. Dáte is the congressional editor on NPR's Washington Desk.