Unsurprisingly, the NY Times has uncovered that the Obama campaign deliberately placed that trio of A&F-clad boys behind their candidate, a bit of “stagecraft” done by all campaigns interested in reaching a particular demographic.

Mystery solved. The so-called Abercrombie boys who showed up behind Senator Barack Obama during his speech Tuesday night in Evansville, Ind., were just random Obama fans. They were asked by the Obama campaign to join the crowd behind the candidate.

Because they were all wearing T-shirts from Abercrombie & Fitch, they stood out in the crowd, even receiving cell-phone calls from friends who had spotted them on television during the speech. Soon the media mentioned them, wondering whether they were part of an advertising campaign, a shrewd bit of product placement by the retailer, which is geared toward the same young crowd attracted to Mr. Obama’s candidacy.

Not so. The young men saw a report on CNN and called the network to say they had not planned anything. One of them works at the Abercrombie & Fitch store in Evansville. He and one of his brothers and a friend decided to go to the rally; they wear A&F clothes all the time and didn’t think twice about the T-shirts.

At the rally, a campaign volunteer asked them to stand behind Mr. Obama during his speech. It was not clear what role the T-shirts played, if any, in their selection. Spokesmen for the Obama campaign and A&F said there was no plan to highlight A&F, and both were caught by surprise when the T-shirts drew such attention.

According to the story, the placement was done to reach white working-class voters. Is A&F a “working-class” brand? I thought it more for twinks and preppies.