Colbert Preps Possible Run In S.C. Primary

Comedian Stephen Colbert flirts with entering the South Carolina presidential primary.


Stephen Colbert isn't running for president — at least not yet.

During Thursday night's episode of "The Colbert Report," Colbert legally transferred his super political action committee to his friend and Comedy Central cohort Jon Stewart. Dropping by from "The Daily Show," Stewart happily signed the documents and accepted the post, which was ceremonially observed by the two holding hands and bodily transferring the PAC powers.

The move potentially paves the way for Colbert to enter the Republican presidential primary in South Carolina, his home state. Campaigning politicians are prohibited from simultaneously running super PACs.

But Colbert only hinted at such a decision, which he had grandly hyped ahead of Thursday's show. In flirting candidate style, he announced that he is forming "an exploratory committee to lay the groundwork for my possible candidacy for the president of the United States of South Carolina."

Patriotically colored balloons were released in the studio while a graphic screamed "I'm Doing It!"

Stewart and Colbert hashed out the peculiar legalities of their arrangement. With Colbert's lawyer (and former chairman of the Federal Election Commission) Trevor Potter on hand, they spelled out that while Colbert was legally forbidden from participating in strategy and advertising with the super PAC, he could still talk about his plans on his TV show and even volunteer for the super PAC.

Stewart declared Colbert vice president of youth outreach for the super PAC, which was renamed The Definitely Not Coordinated with Stephen Colbert Super PAC. Along with Potter, the three joined hands like a sports team and — with thick irony — cheered in unison: "Non-coordination!"

In 2007, Colbert attempted to enter the South Carolina primary but was stymied by filing fees. The super PAC could very well eliminate any such financial concerns. Colbert hasn't publically revealed the amount raised from viewer contributions by the PAC, but on Thursday he repeatedly hinted that it was a shockingly large amount.

Colbert has otherwise been very transparent about the PAC's workings, using it to parody the current system's contradictions and potential conflicts of interest. Political action committees stem from a 2010 Supreme Court decision that changed the rules of corporate political donations.

A Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday found that Colbert is polling ahead of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman in South Carolina. According to the survey, Colbert has 5 percent of the vote and Huntsman has 4 percent.

Upon reading those results on "The Report" on Wednesday, Colbert said: "This just got real."

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  • by MIK44 Location: CS, CO on Jan 13, 2012 at 09:47 AM
    Colbert and Stewart are whitty and funny political humorists, that is why they are on Comedy Central, nothing more!
    • reply
      by Common Sense on Jan 15, 2012 at 09:30 AM in reply to MIK44
      and their not even that funny.
  • by vietsubvet Location: cospgs on Jan 13, 2012 at 08:02 AM
    @ Q. Good comments and observations, particulary about the usual plethora of murders, etc. I have seen John Stewart and he's a funny guy. Colbert, I'm clueless, but I'll make a point of stepping outside the box, where I usually live anyhow, and checkin' him out. Thx for the good info. I'm old enough to recall about 40 years ago, some goofball comedian named Pat Paulsen 'ran' for prez. Hopefully you're not a Ron Paul person, but Paul reminds me of Paulsen. My bad if you're a Paul fan, but it's almost comedic to see him in the debates. He should be on Comedy Central, particularly with his comments that the USA has never been attacked by foreigns, and that the people in the Middle East "Don't have anything against us." Hmmm. Seems like there was something that happened in Pearl Harbor and New Yord, and many of the radicals in the Middle East are manifestly America haters.
  • by Q Location: Peyton on Jan 13, 2012 at 07:41 AM
    @vietsubvet I personally find it refreshing to see a story that does not involve murder, theft, rape, kidnappings, car jackings etc. RE: the story. While I don't really know much about Colbert as his show is not very serious I would LOVE to see Jon Stewart run. I actually think he would do well. Vietsubvet, Jon Stewart is on Comedy Central. You should watch him sometime but only if you are an "out of the box" type of person. If you are a follower and not a leader and cannot think independently don't waste your time.
  • by vietsubvet Location: cospgs on Jan 13, 2012 at 07:29 AM
    So Mr. Colbert must assume he's a veritable household word. Never heard of the cat. Probably ought to watch more TV? Not really sure how this 'story' deserves mention on the KKTV website news, which I ordinarily think is very professional and timely.
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