Stephen Colbert for president? What's his point? (+video)
Stephen Colbert handed over control of his super PAC cash pile to Jon Stewart Thursday, paving the way for a run at the presidency of 'the United States of South Carolina.'
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The “coordination” thing is a tissue-thin distinction, as Colbert rightly points out. Super PACs can be run by candidate’s ex-chiefs of staff, and so forth, and pick up ideas as to what to do just by following what their person says in the media.Skip to next paragraph
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Colbert’s main tool in this crusade has been his own super PAC, which he formed last year. Among other things, the Colbert super PAC has paid for an ad urging Iowans to vote for Rick Parry, with an “a”. It’s produced an ad that features GOP also-ran Buddy Roemer bemoaning that he has to appear in Colbert’s ad to get any attention (watch for Colbert on a unicorn at the end).
But candidates can’t overtly direct super PACs. So last night on the Report, Colbert handed over control of his beloved cash pile to Jon Stewart, his former boss and business partner. All perfectly legal! They did a handshake thing with special effects to dramatize the switch. They looked like Severus Snape and Narcissa Malfoy doing the Unbreakable Vow in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”
“From now on, I’ll have to talk about my plans on my television show and take the risk that you’ll watch it,” said Colbert to Stewart.
That’s not so funny, really – that’s how Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Perry convey their wishes to their associate Super PACs, which are run by former aides, ex-business partners, and so forth.
Anyway, now Colbert continues onward, presumably milking this for all it’s worth through the South Carolina primary on Jan. 21. It’s too late for him to get on the ballot – he’d have to be a write-in. There isn’t even a post of "president of the United States of South Carolina.” (Insert your own Civil War joke here.)
But Colbert is a dangerous kind of comedian, almost a performance artist. So we would not be surprised if he continues to find ways to insert himself into the actual political process. He testified before Congress on the conditions facing migrant workers, after all, following one day’s stint as an agricultural picker. He and Jon Stewart held that big quasi-political rally on the National Mall in Washington last year.
“With your help and possibly with the help of some outside group I’m not coordinating with we can explore taking this country back.... Thank you, God bless you, and God bless ‘Citizens United’,” Colbert said Thursday night.