Make no mistake about it. Politicos and Republican party members are thinking it, so The Shad will say it. The frontrunners for the GOP nomination for US Senate in 2012 are Tom Foley and Linda McMahon. While it is likely that the party establishment will decide who gets the nomination before it turns into a mega-million, no holds barred primary, Foley and McMahon both want it and want it badly (Foley probably doesn’t know how badly he’ll want it yet; McMahon has already made it clear). The seat currently held by Sen. Joseph Lieberman is up in 2012. The enigmatic Lieberman has not said whether he’ll run again.

The way Foley conducted himself after the circus the gubernatorial election became has brought him new-found respect and stature in the party. He took his time, looked at the situation when the dust settled and did what was best for the state (and to his credit, Malloy gave him the space). Let’s also not forget that Foley was in the race for the Republican nomination for US Senate this time around until switching to the governor’s race.

McMahon didn’t appear to even try to hide her continued ambition. Her “concession” speech when it became clear Richard Blumenthal had won, was the most-tightly scripted cry of “uncle” we’ve seen in some time. I remarked on NBC-CT that night that we may have very well seen McMahon’s kick-off speech for the 2012 race.

Imagine the personal wealth involved in such a race. Hey, in for $50 million, in for $100 million.

There are plenty of Democrats who could be interested as well. US Reps. Chris Murphy (CT-5th) and Jim Himes (CT-4th) both won hard-fought contests in a Republican year. And in a year in which The Shad interviewed nearly every candidate in every race, I found Comptroller-elect Kevin Lembo to be among the most impressive. Oh, and it needs to be said—“No Mas” with Ned Lamont.

It’s never too soon to speculate.