He’s not your, er, conventional Republican — having spent part of his childhood being raised by a bona fide welfare mom, not to mention posing nude during law school — but regardless, Massachusetts state Sen. Scott Brown could pose a serious challenge to his Democratic opponent, Martha Coakley, in the race to fill the late Edward Kennedy’s U.S. Senate seat.

This is where President Barack Obama comes in to attempt to tip the balance in Massachusetts Attorney General Coakley’s favor by hitting the campaign trail on her behalf before Tuesday’s special election. –KA

The Wall Street Journal:

David Axelrod, a senior White House adviser, said Mr. Brown had “done a good job of portraying [Democratic opponent Martha Coakley] as a quasi-incumbent.” But in reality, he said, Mr. Brown “stands with the big banks and the insurance companies.”

Mr. Brown attended Tufts University and then law school at Boston College. While a law student, he posed nude for a magazine centerfold in a sexiest-man contest. For 30 years, he has been in the National Guard, where he is in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Mr. Brown’s legislative focus has ranged from crime-victims rights issues to veterans affairs.

Sen. Brian A. Joyce, a Democrat who sits on two committees with the Republican, supports Ms. Coakley, the state’s attorney general, and thinks she would make the better senator. He calls Mr. Brown a “good guy,” about whom he has nothing negative to say. “He is not a rigid ideologue at all.”

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