What up in South Cackalacky, y’all? Are you ready for the most important test of your democratic franchise in over a century?
On Tuesday (Oct. 16) night, Stephen Colbert used his dual Comedy Central late night platforms to announce his candidacy in next year’s South Carolina primary.
First, Colbert returned to his old Daily Show stomping grounds for a sit-down with Jon Stewart, who asked directly about his presidential aspirations (hinted at over the weekend in a New York Times Op-Ed piece).
"I’m glad you asked, Jon," Colbert replied. "Because tonight I, Stephen Colbert, am officially announcing that I have decided to officially consider whether or not I will announce that I am running for President of the United States. And I will be making an announcement of that decision very soon, preferably on a more prestigious show."
That more prestigious show turned out to be The Colbert Report, mere seconds later.
"After nearly 15 minutes of soul-searching, I have heard the call," he announced. "Nation, I shall seek the office of the President of the United States."
The news was greeted by a roar from the audience and a shower of confetti and balloons, plus an on-screen graphic raving "I AM DOING IT!"
Referencing the James Bryce quote that "A favorite son is a politician respected or admired in his own state… but little regarded beyond it," Colbert said that he would only be running in his one-time native state.
"I am from South Carolina," he said. "I am for South Carolina and I defy any other candidate to pander more to the people of South Carolina, those beautiful, beautiful people."
Colbert proceeded to cut up a premade Colbert/Stewart ’08 bumper sticker, indicating he had yet to determine his hypothetical running mate.
"It could be Colbert/Huckabee, Colbert/Putin or even Colbert/Colbert."
Political analyst Jeff Greenfield then showed up to note that Colbert’s place in the race — he says he plans to run as both a Democrat and a Republican — could spell bad news for for former Alaska senator Mike Gravel.
Colbert listed his service time in the Marina Corps and the Hair Force as among his major qualifications.
It remains to be seen whether Colbert is truly committed to attempting to get the 2.5 percent of the South Carolina vote necessary to acquire a single delegate, or whether he’s just hoping to boost the sales position of I Am America (And So Can You!), which currently ranks at No. 5 on Amazon’s bestsellers list.
Is there any reason to take Colbert any less seriously than Ron Paul?