Bill Maher to Target "Worst" House Member

Bill Maher to Target "Worst" House Member
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Bill Maher, who donated $1 million dollars to President Obama's 2012 re-election effort, is wading back into electoral politics. This time, however, his approach is purely negative.

The New York Times reported Thursday night that the comedian plans “to ask viewers to make a case for their individual representatives in the House to be selected as the worst in the country.” He and his staff will then pick one member of Congress and highlight the “terrible work” done by that representative between now and the November election.

Maher and his team plan to select a competitive race, where they hope to have an actual impact. The show’s executive producer, Scott Carter, acknowledged that they will likely oppose a Republican, adding, “We want a chance to win.”

Maher told the Times that “we are going to be entering into the exciting world of outright meddling with the political process.” In addition to blasting the chosen representative regularly on his show, Maher will also visit his or her congressional district and “generally stir up hostile feelings toward the show’s target.”

The 58-year-old comedian is no stranger to political controversy. Following his donation to Obama, several conservative commentators demanded the president’s campaign return the money because of crude remarks Maher had made about Sarah Palin and her family. (The Obama campaign did not return the funds.)

With that in mind, Carter acknowledged that the team has to be careful in its selection process. “We will suss out whether or not the challenger might think there was reason why our participation in the effort to unseat the incumbent would not be welcomed,” he explained.

However, Maher and Carter are primarily concerned with the comedic value of their efforts.

“We think there will be no shortage of nominations of incumbents who are ludicrous, who are ridiculous for one reason or another,” said Carter, “and we think there is no lack of entertainment value among sitting members of Congress.” 

Adam O'Neal is a political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at aoneal@realclearpolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter @RealClearAdam.

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