The Denver Post's Jon Murray reports that Colorado's Rep. Mike Coffman, one of the nation's most vulnerable incumbent members of Congress going into the 2014 elections, has made the illustrious Final Four of HBO host Bill Maher's "Flip a District" competition:
Here’s how Maher, the unabashedly liberal host of “Real Time,” described Coffman: “That’s right, Mike is a deep-red conservative trying to keep pace with a district that’s turning purple — and smokin’ green,” he added with a wink, prompting audience laughter. Using some colorful words, Maher then implored his viewers: “Over the next month, let us know which of these bloated ticks on America’s hide needs to be burnt off with the mighty cigarette of democracy.” He’ll announce the “winning loser” on the show’s live episode in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 12.
At a Coffman campaign announcement Tuesday — at which he unveiled the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — I asked the congressman if he’s a fan of Maher. He smiled.
“I’m very competitive. I think he’s going to pick me — he has to!” Coffman said. “I think he will pick me because if you look at the other three, they’re not in competitive seats. So it’s kind of a set-up. It’s almost like he wanted a clear choice, to default to me.”
Here's how Maher describes the Flip a District competition on his website:
It’s simple: There are a lot of terrible, entrenched congressmen out there. Many don’t even have an opponent. We’re going to choose one of them, throw him into the national spotlight, and see if we can’t send him scuttling under the refrigerator on Election Night…
On September 12, Bill Maher will reveal the winning “loser” during a live broadcast of Real Time in Washington DC. Then we will periodically look at the district, get to know the entrenched incumbent and the people they’re supposed to serve, and generally do our level best to flip that district.
Looking at the other three contenders in the "Flippable Four," Coffman has a point that his race against Democrat Andrew Romanoff is likely the most competitive. Assuming Maher's goal is actually to "flip a district," that would make Colorado's CD-6 a natural choice.
Bravado aside, the chances that Coffman would be excited to have one of the nation's most prominent liberal pundits take on ousting him as a personal mission hover somewhere between "no" and "please no." The last thing Coffman needs is Bill Maher running around Aurora reminding the voters all the baggage Coffman wants left behind from his pre-redistricting "very Republican seat."
But that could be exactly what happens starting next month.