Maher Names Target in Quest to 'Flip a District'

He is Minnesota's John Kline, and Maher's gambit appears unlikely to work
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2014 10:12 AM CDT
Maher Names Target in Quest to 'Flip a District'
Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., speaks during a news conference in support of charter schools on Capitol Hill, on Wednesday, May 7, 2014.   (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Bill Maher has unveiled the target of his "Flip a District" campaign, in which he plans to unseat the House member he deems America's worst, and he is Rep. John Kline, a Minnesota Republican, reports Roll Call. “I know what you’re thinking: You never heard of John Kline," joked Maher, who calls Kline "one of those silent threats you never see coming. He’s not funny. He’s just wrong about everything." Maher dings Kline, selected from four finalists who were all Republicans, for alleged transgressions including his stances on repealing ObamaCare, the federal shutdown, and student loan reform; Kline is chair of the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

Democrat Mike Obermueller, Kline's opponent in Minnesota's 2nd District, welcomed Maher aboard, saying, "our momentum is building every day." Kline immediately pounced on that, reports the Hill, slamming Obermueller for "essentially naming Maher as his campaign manager." And over at the Washington Post, Aaron Blake says that Maher is on a fool's errand, "because Kline, quite simply, isn't a Democratic target." He's generally considered a "safe Republican," and while his district could be considered "swingy," it's probably not going to happen. Says one Dem strategist: "Sometimes money could be spent in a way that makes a difference or in a way that gets a headline. This is the latter." (Kline actually attracted Gail Collins' frustration over his 2009 opposition to "no-brainer" student loan reform.)

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