In what may otherwise be considered a cynical attempt to use a gay voice in the so-called "liberal media" to scare up some campaign dollars, a recent letter to supporters by Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) points to an obscure blog to level the claim that MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow may run against him.
And, of course, he needs your money to make sure that doesn't happen.
Pointing to UniversalHub, a relatively small Boston-area blog, Brown claims a key Democratic Party official is trying to recruit the Massachusetts-residing news anchor to run for Kennedy's former seat, cautioning that liberals will almost surely draft "someone like Rachel Maddow" to challenge Republicans in 2012.
"[Democrats] want a rubberstamp who will vote for their plans to expand government, increase debt and raise taxes, He wrote. "Someone like Rachel Maddow. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a nice person Ã¢â‚¬â€ I just donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think America can afford her liberal politics."
The post was based on a tweet at Maddow by Massachusetts Democratic Party chairman John Walsh. It reads: "Some are talking about you running vs Scott Brown in '12. I'm Chair of MA Dem Party. My email is johnewalsh@Comcast.net cell-617-650-9311".
"And please, for goodness sake, don't go calling Walsh and asking if his refrigerator is running," quipped UniversalHub blogger "adamg".
Before thanking recipients for "whatever support" they might afford him, Brown writes: "Rachel Maddow has a nightly platform to push her far-left agenda. What about you? IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d like to encourage ordinary American citizens concerned about the future of their country to get more involved in our government. I hope you were encouraged by my victory to become more politically active ..."
After the letter was published by The Washington Independent, Maddow herself decided to respond in a tweet of her own, saying: "After much puzzlement here, we finally decided to just book me as a guest on TRMS tonight to discuss bizarre Scott Brown story."
During her Tuesday night broadcast, the MSNBC host said there is no plan to run against Brown, even while one of her interns sported a t-shirt that read, "I'm Raising Money for My Nude Model U.S. Senator Right Now" -- a jibe at Brown's sans-clothing centerfold published in Cosmopolitan. Video of the program was not available at time of this writing.
"[Bet] this is a very cynical attempt to squeeze money from the teabaggers as in 'send me money or the lesbian might take over,'" scoffed a commenter on liberal politics forum Democratic Underground.
Maddow, once a talk show host for the now-collapsed liberal radio network Air America, shares the distinction of her former post with Al Franken, a humorist turned liberal commenter who narrowly defeated former Republican Senator Norm Coleman to represent the state of Minnesota as a Democrat.
Sen. Brown, who in a recent special election took the seat long occupied by Sen. Edward Kennedy and became a key stumbling block amid Democrats' push for health reform, currently plans to run for reelection in 2012. His anti-Maddow campaign fundraising letter follows.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only been a couple of months since IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been in office, and before IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve even settled into my new job, the political machine in Massachusetts is looking for someone to run against me. And youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not going to believe who they are supposedly trying to recruit Ã¢â‚¬â€ liberal MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow.
Rachel lives in western Massachusetts, and recently it was reported that the chairman of the state Democratic Party had apparently tried to reach out to her in an attempt to coax her into a race against me. You can read about it here.
The political season never ends, which is why I need your continued support. While my opponents strategize on how to defeat me in 2012, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going to continue to speak out against higher taxes, more spending and greater government control in our lives.
I relish being an independent voice in Washington, one that doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t march in lockstep with the rest of the Washington crowd. The Democratic Party bosses in Massachusetts disagree. They want a rubberstamp who will vote for their plans to expand government, increase debt and raise taxes. Someone like Rachel Maddow. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a nice person Ã¢â‚¬â€ I just donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think America can afford her liberal politics.
Rachel Maddow has a nightly platform to push her far-left agenda. What about you? IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d like to encourage ordinary American citizens concerned about the future of their country to get more involved in our government. I hope you were encouraged by my victory to become more politically active, maybe even become a candidate for office yourself. We can continue to push our movement forward by running for office, joining in rallies and petitions that challenge President Obama and Nancy PelosiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s healthcare legislation, supporting campaigns against the tax-and-spenders or by donating time and money to office-holders and candidates who will restore the principles of our founders.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m grateful you are with me. Thanks again for whatever support you can provide me, and I look forward to joining in further victories with you down the line.
United States Senator
This video is from MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast March 23, 2010.