Scott Brown isn't running for Senate yet -- but he looked every bit a candidate on the front page of a New Hampshire newspaper on Monday, photographed shirtless at a local Penguin Plunge charity event in Hampton Beach, N.H.
The New Hampshire Union Leader identified Brown as the former Republican senator from Massachusetts and a "longtime summer resident" of Rye, N.H., where Brown has owned a second home to which he only recently moved full time. Brown was not mentioned further in the accompanying article.
For Brown, the event, which benefited the Special Olympics New Hampshire, is the latest in a low-key schedule of local functions that could be laying the groundwork for a return to politics. Brown is weighing a challenge to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., but he has not yet reached a public decision.
Recent polling has indicated Shaheen, a strong incumbent who has won multiple statewide races in New Hampshire during her career, would have an early advantage in a match-up with Brown; last week, a WMUR Granite State survey showed Shaheen leading Brown by ten points. But Republicans predict low favorability ratings for President Obama in New Hampshire, along with dissatisfaction with his signature healthcare law, would give Brown a chance to close the gap, and many have been urging him to run.