Comedian Stephan Colbert (host of fake personality-driven pundit shows ‘the Colbert Report’ on Comedy Central) had announced that he was running for president.
The run is a sham of course, but his coverage of it is quite entertaining. In particular it is revealing of the way politicians announce that they are candidates, the ways in which candidates can raise money and where the lines are drawn for what is acceptable and unacceptable, and ballot access issues and barriers.
Here are a few links with some serious analysis of Colbert’s run:
- Colbert and campaign finance laws
Colbert’s segment on his brush with the campaign finance laws is the first of its kind. As an entertainer, he means to be funny, but he is fairly serious at the same time; and of how many popular entertainers can be it said that they are skeptical of campaign finance reform, much less have given it any serious thought?
- South Carolina Democratic Party’s Executive Council refusal to accept his candidacy
On November 1, the South Carolina Democratic Party’s Executive Council refused to accept the candidacy of Stephen Colbert and John Hughes. The Council rejected their filing fees. The vote on Colbert was 13-3.
- Musings on the reasons his candidacy was rejected
So the South Carolina Democratic party has concluded that Stephen Colbert may not appear on the Democratic primary ballot. It did not think his candidacy was a laughing matter, and it thought this precisely because the Colbert candidacy was a laughing matter. Colbert could not be serious, hence not a serious candidate; and yet his candidacy was only viable—it really only made sense—if it was not taken seriously.