This just in on the outcome of the only outside effort to meddle in Minnesota politics this election cycle that managed to get favorable media coverage when launched this fall.
But brace yourself for a spoiler alert on the guy who sees himself as the ultimate spoiler.
HBO politico Bill Maher has conceded that his highly hyped “flip-a-district” campaign to unseat Cong. John Kline in the 2nd congressional district came up short.
“Well, I guess we picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue. And flipping Republicans. Enjoy it John Kline, at least people are on to you now,” said Maher in concluding the embarrassing electoral effort posted on his website.
In “real time” terms, Maher’s flip-a-district gimmick flopped as Kline coasted to his seventh term in the US House of Representatives. True, Maher wasn’t on the ballot in Kline’s race, but then neither was President Obama.
Just the same, Kline doubled his victory margin over challenger Mike Obermueller in a rematch of the 2012 race—an 18 percent win compared to 8 percent last time.
After Maher’s blow-out loss, some pundits were as hard on the standup's lack of political street smarts as the cable television talking head was in targeting Kline.
“If Maher really had wanted to have a political impact he should have picked a district where enough people actually watch his show to make a difference and where there was a serious change to upend the incumbent,” said David Schultz, a Hamline University political science professor. “The reality is that the flip a district idea was more ratings stunt that real politics.”
On the other hand, the Kline campaign gave Maher credit for being a polarizing influence all the way to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
“The more Minnesotans learned about Bill Maher, the more outraged and offended they were, which could be why he canceled radio interviews in the Twin Cities this week,” said Kline spokesman Troy Young. “His effort, if you can call it that, to flip this district fizzled and it was telling even Berkeley students petitioned to keep Maher and his offensive and disgusting views off their campus.”
In the home stretch of his campaign, Maher linked to an Eva Longoria video endorsing his ill-fated effort embedded in a promo for her documentary “Food Chains.”
“And speaking of food chains, I can’t think of any person lower on the food chain than a guy who would take money from coal companies and then deny man-made climate change. On Tuesday, flip John Kline. Go to flipadistrict.com!”
Ultimately, the lopsided results got the final word, at least until the much anticipated post election edition of "Unreal Time."
“We knew that this election was never going to be about Bill Maher. While the initial attention and fundraising boost was a positive, nobody was making a decision based on whether they liked Maher. It wasn’t a distraction, but over the course of the campaign as a whole, it’s difficult to characterize it as anything more than a blip,” said Obermueller campaign spokesman Kevin George.