Names & Faces: Rachel Maddow, T.I. and Jim Oberstar

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A political throw-down

Talk about making a statement! MSNBC host Rachel Maddow took out a full-page ad in Friday's Boston Globe to insist that she has no plans for a Senate run in Massachusetts.

The simply constructed ad harshly rebukes Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown for a recent fundraising e-mail, which suggested that Maddow was being recruited by "the political machine in Massachusetts" to run against him in 2012. "Senator Brown never even tried to find out if it was true," Maddow writes in her ad, accusing Brown of "using the made-up threat of me running against him to try to scare donors into giving him more money." Maddow, who owns a home in western Massachusetts, is one of Brown's constituents.

Brown's e-mail, which went out to supporters on Tuesday, implied that Maddow would be "a rubberstamp" to advance the Democratic agenda: "I'm sure she's a nice person -- I just don't think America can afford her liberal politics." A Brown spokesman told the Associated Press that "some liberals" had raised the idea of Maddow challenging Brown, and cited a Twitter message from Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh that echoed the refrain, asking Maddow to contact him.

'Game Change,' the sequel

It's too early to tell whether 2012 will be as insanely dramatic as 2008 ("Yes, we can!" Hockey moms! John Edwards!) -- but Penguin Press clearly hopes it will be. The publisher has inked a $5 million deal with John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, authors of the best-selling campaign tell-all "Game Change," to similarly chronicle the next presidential election.

Sources tell Crain's Business Journal that the hefty price tag is "presidential memoir-level money." But the gamble isn't totally crazy: "Game Change" has been on the New York Times bestseller list ever since the book was published in January, so far selling 365,000 hardcover copies.

The rap on T.I.'s arrest

T.I.'s baby steps to freedom quickened on Friday, when the rapper's 30 days of house arrest ended. Now he's got a curfew to deal with.

The rapper's attorney, Steve Sadow, tells that T.I. will spend the next 23 days on supervised release. He can roam freely -- as long as he's home by 11 p.m. (Unless he's performing, which will extend his curfew to 1 a.m.)

T.I. also has to complete 400 hours of community service and will be on probation for the next three years. He was sentenced last March after pleading guilty to weapons charges involving the purchase of machine guns and silencers.

End notes

Spotted: Andrea Mitchell, Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff, Donna Brazile and Gloria Borger toasting CNN's Candy Crowley on her new "State of the Union" hosting gig at Restaurant Nora on Friday night.

Quoted: "The oysters of Normandy are the most delicious in the world." -- Translation, from French, of Rep. Jim Oberstar's comments to George Mason University economist Veronique de Rugy at a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing on Friday. In video footage from C-SPAN, the Minnesota Democrat -- who did graduate work in Quebec, Canada, and Belgium and taught language in Haiti -- busted out a perfect Gallic accent to ask de Rugy about her French origins; she replied, in French, that she was raised in Paris but her parents were from Normandy.

-- Marissa Newhall, from staff, wire and Web reports

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