Roger Stone, the notorious Republican operative and author of some most of the underhanded political tactics of the last four decades, is not a source normally to be trusted. However, when he says he smells a rat, only a fool doesn’t think it’s time to lock up the camenbert. Currently on his blog, Stone has the following entry:

“I’ve waited a few days to lay out my analysis of the selection of Paul Ryan for the VP slot on the Romney ticket. Unlike politicos like Dick Morris who bad-mouths the selection privately and shills for it publicly, I’ll tell you what I really think. My sources tell me David Koch played a key role in Ryan’s selection and that Koch’s wife Julia had been quietly lobbying for Ryan. The selection was cemented at the July 22nd fundraiser Koch held for Romney at the former’s sumptuous Hamptons estate. Koch pledged $100 million more to C-4 and Super PAC efforts for Romney for Ryan’s selection.”

Stone seems to think that the odious Kochs are doing this to help Romney win in 2012; with Ryan shoring up the right flank, and the Kochs supplying the juice, Romney can make his much-needed dash for the middle, and win the election. I’m not so sure. Romney is probably conservative enough for the Kochs, but it’s the long game that I suspect really appeals to them. If Romney loses, young Ryan is the heir apparent, and with nothing else to do, he seems perfectly set up to champion the Koch agenda in 2016. Intriguing stuff.

If nothing else, we need to throw out a big thank you to the Supreme Court for allowing us the amusement of this speculation. Until the Citizens United decision, the idea that a candidate could be a wholly owned subsidiary of a mysterious entity seemed wildly far-fetched Manchurian Candidate-type stuff. Now, as we see from Sheldon Adelson and the Koch boys, you can get these guys off the rack.

[Cross-posted at]

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Jamie Malanowski is a writer and editor. He has been an editor at Time, Esquire and most recently Playboy, where he was Managing Editor.