Obama's Campaign Opens Fire--on the Kochs

I just received a new mailer from BarackObama.com.  Even before the primaries are finished, Obama is apparently kicking off the campaign against his now-inevitable opponent: the Koch brothers.

Obama - Biden
Friend --

In just about 24 hours, Mitt Romney is headed to a hotel ballroom to give a speech sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, a front group founded and funded by the Koch brothers.

Those are the same Koch brothers whose business model is to make millions by jacking up prices at the pump, and who have bankrolled Tea Party extremism and committed $200 million to try to destroy President Obama before Election Day.

Obviously, the campaign is not yet fully fleshed out. How will Obama distinguish himself from the Kochs on important issues like the Iranian missile program, gay marriage, and national education standards?  How will he counter the favorability boost that the Kochs are expected to get from the fact that their name sounds like a popular soft drink (and will people get confused when pollsters ask them if they prefer "Coke, or Obama")?  Will he be courting the paleolibertarians whose hatred of the Kochs is second only to that of the Center for American Progress?  How will he counter if the Kochs promise to lower gas prices in exchange for the presidency?


I know it's customary to whine about the permanent election, but I confess, I'm excited to see this one unfold.  Sure, it was historic to have our first black president--not to mention the first president who was a professor at my alma mater--and I don't mean to take anything away from that.  But it would also be a pretty big landmark to have our first joint presidency.

Not that that will influence my vote, mind you.  I vote the issues.  Which is why I'm not proffering an endorsement until I know how the Kochs feel about soda taxes and those videos of animals being killed.

My husband once had a fellowship with the Charles G. Koch Foundation, and works for Reason Magazine, which has been a recipient of funds from Koch charitable organizations.

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Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

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