KochWatch, the Final Chapter: Koch on the Convention Floor

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 28 2012 3:27 PM

KochWatch, the Final Chapter: Koch on the Convention Floor

photo (5)

TAMPA -- There he was, all 6'5'' of him towering over New York's delegation to the RNC: David Koch. No reporters were bugging him. Plenty of delegates looked excited to meet him. I felt fairly sheepish about revealing his dining partner on Twitter the night before, and when I approached him, media consultant and former Americans for Prosperity president Nancy Pfotenhauer adds to the sensation.

"So, what did you have for dinner?" she asked.

Bill O'Reilly -- not the one you're thinking of, but the second of three Koch pals keeping him company -- handed me a statement and told me, politely, that Koch would not be doing interviews. "The 2012 may be the most important of our lifetimes," said Koch-on-paper. "Profoundly different political philosophies are competing for our hearts and minds -- and our votes."

Koch-in-real-life was more fun. "My brother says that this is the mother of all election battles," he told one delegate. Amos Rothstein, a convention page, asked the billionaire for advice on becoming happy and successful. "I'm the evil billionaire Koch brother," Koch joked. "You're not afraid of me?"

Ed Cox, New York's GOP chairman, stood nearby, proud that Koch wasn't getting hassled. "He's just another delegate," Cox said. "He gives a lot of good advice."

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

  Slate Plus
Working
Nov. 27 2014 12:31 PM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 11 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked a helicopter paramedic about his workday.