Now, even though this requires some speculation, it seems pretty clear what happened.
Republican congressional candidate William Hudak got involved in Sen.-elect Scott Brown’s campaign, even to the point of letting Brown’s folks use his Danvers headquarters.
They came to like each other. And in the giddiness of the Tuesday-night victory party, Brown said some nice things to Hudak about his campaign — nice things that Hudak interpreted as an endorsement. Hudak put out the word, and the press, having no reason to doubt him, reported that Brown had endorsed Hudak without bothering to check with Brown’s people.
Then, this morning, Media Nation broke the news that Hudak had told a reporter for the Tri-Town Transcript in November 2008 that he believed President Obama had been born in Kenya. Hudak also put a sign on his Boxford property depicting Obama as Osama bin Laden. The Salem News confirmed that it was the same Hudak who was running for Congress.
Next: The Brown folks, appalled, issued a statement that they had neither seen nor approved of Hudak’s press release claiming Brown had endorsed him. (I suspect they’ve hedged on the question of whether Brown had, in fact, endorsed Hudak because they don’t know exactly what Brown may have said.)
That all makes sense, although if Hudak actually put words in Brown’s mouth (his press release quotes Brown directly), then this goes beyond a simple misunderstanding. And, of course, there is the matter of Hudak’s spokesman now claiming Hudak is not a birther, and that he was misunderstood when he was interviewed by the Transcript some 15 months ago.
Needless to say, it has been a bizarre little interlude. It looks like the Brown people have handled this about as well as could be expected. But it may not be quite played out yet.
I have asked for comment from the Transcript and the Salem News as to whether Hudak ever asked for a correction. I’ll let you know what I find out.