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The Strange Tale of Scott Brown, Rachel Maddow, and a Tweet Goof that Maybe Wasn't (Updated)

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, March 23 2010

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Part of the joy of politics is that there's always something new and strange right around the corner.

To wit, Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown just emailed a fundraising ask out to his list. The hook? Help him raise funds to compete will all challenges when he has to defend his seat in the regular election -- challengers that might, just might, include MSNBC host Rachel Maddow. "I'm sure she's a nice person," reads the email, under a banner headline of The Political Machine..., "I just don't think America can afford her liberal politics."

Rachel Maddow for Senate? Come again say wha?

Turns out that this particular fundraising appeal finds its roots in a tweet. About two weeks back, Massachusetts Democratic Party chair John Walsh posted on Twitter a cryptic note that reads like a one-to-one message inadvertently made public. “Some are talking about you running vs Scott Brown in ’12. I’m Chair of MA Dem Party,” read Walsh's tweet. Walsh claimed his public tweet was a screw up. Other thought he was being thick-thumbed like a fox. Speculation turned to his intended target being Maddow for reasons that, according to the Boston Herald, include the fact that Maddow began following Walsh on Twitter just before the mystery tweet -- making her, it seems, a potential direct-messagee for Walsh.

So what we have here is a fundraising email sent by a brand-new senator to help him raise money to oppose the possible candidacy of a relatively new cable talk show host, though the only evidence thus far of the potential of said candidacy is a tweet that may or not have been inadvertent. Just another day in politics.

Update: Also finding this whole thing odd is, it seems, Rachel Maddow. She (of course, come on now) tweets the only sensible -- if tongue in cheek -- response:

After much puzzlement here, we finally decided to just book me as a guest on TRMS [The Rachel Maddow Show] tonight to discuss bizarre Scott Brown story.