There are shades as well of Barack Obama's meteoric rise: Obama also went straight from the state Senate to the U.S. Senate, and was catapulted to national prominence in Boston, at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
Brown grew up in Wakefield, Mass., and was a star athlete growing up, as well as something of a self-professed troublemaker. He first ran for the state legislature in 1998 after a stint in local government in Wrentham, Mass.
He had an independent streak from start in politics. Ianno recalls that Brown was an early supporter of Sen. John McCain's 2000 presidential campaign, when most of the state GOP establishment was backing George W. Bush.
He's a social conservative by Massachusetts standards, though not by national ones: He's a strong opponent of same-sex marriage, but he's said he doesn't favor overturning the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.
He was a reliable vote against tax increases in the Democrat-dominated legislature. He supported the Clean Election Law, a controversial public campaign-financing system that was ultimately repealed after being approved by Massachusetts voters.
Brown built his campaign around his opposition to the president's health care plans, though he supported Romney's successful effort to establish virtually universal health coverage in the Bay State.
At the State House, Brown developed a reputation less as a legislator than as a connection-builder, filling his Rolodex with contacts who would come in handy down the road. As a junior lawmaker, colleagues knew of his ambition -- and his drive.
"Scott was someone, by virtue of nature, was competitive. He certainly saw some desire to move up, move on, with an opportunity that presented itself," said state Rep. Bradley H. Jones Jr., R-Mass., the Massachusetts House minority leader.
After Kennedy's death, Brown had a relatively easy shot at the GOP Senate nomination. Big Republican names, such as Romney, former White House chief of staff Andy Card, and former governors Paul Cellucci and Jane Swift, took a pass. Few gave him any shot of winning against the then-popular Democratic attorney general, Martha Coakley.
In a tight timeframe, Brown worked the state in a weathered GM truck, boasting that he had 200,000 miles on it, and that he would gladly see the odometer roll up for a trip to Washington.
He used social media networks and online advertisements to a degree that only Democrats -- including Obama -- had truly used successfully in the past.
By two weeks before the election, he had showed enough progress in some polls that national Republicans started paying attention. By the end of the race, he was raising a virtually unprecedented $1 million a day, money he literally couldn't spend fast enough. He closed out with a campaign war chest of some $4 million, according to campaign aides.
"He ran a tremendous campaign that connected with the pieces that people cared about," Jones said. "And [Coakley] ran a horrible campaign. She ran a campaign -- some would say of arrogance, some might say of entitlement."