Is Stephen Colbert going to join the Senate? Probably not, but that won’t stop him from trying.
The news last Thursday that Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) would be retiring from public service sparked immediate speculation about the possibility that everyone’s favorite fake pundit, quasi-presidential candidate and South Carolina native son would run to replace him.
Within hours, someone launched a “Colbert for Senate” Twitter account, and the host was named the top choice to replace DeMint in a survey conducted over the weekend by Public Policy Polling -- never mind that there’s virtually no chance that Gov. Nikki Haley, an actual Republican, would appoint a fake one like Colbert to the vacant seat.
On Monday’s “Colbert Report,” the host made his case to the people of South Carolina, or at least to its governor. “They love me in the Palmetto State because I love it,” he began. “I love the beaches, I love the mountains, I love the beautiful old estates that have no negative historical connotation whatsoever.”
Colbert also said that, contrary to the opinion of some political journalists, he is “at least as crazy as Jim DeMint.” As evidence, he said he’d take DeMint’s call for banning gay teachers one step further by banning all teachers -- and their “knowledge agenda” -- from the classroom.
Plus, since Colbert’s contract with Comedy Central prohibits him from taking on another full-time job, he figured “the Senate would be perfect.”
And while Colbert claimed he wasn’t trying to influence Haley’s decision in any way, he did just so happen to mention the million dollars or so in Super PAC money he has sitting around, all of which could be transferred “to a shadowy fund that no one would be able to trace.” Theoretically speaking, of course.
After thousands of Colbert fans tweeted at Haley in support of the would-be candidate, the governor issued a very game response via her Facebook page, humorously suggesting that his inability to name the state drink (milk) during a South Carolina trivia game on “The Colbert Report” this April made him unfit for the job.
“That is ridiculous,” he fired back, arguing that “if getting a South Carolina trivia fact wrong disqualifies you for office,” then Haley should have stepped down when she was unable to name the state amphibian (the spotted salamander). Colbert urged his loyal fans to continue barraging Haley via Twitter, using the hashtag #spottedsalamander, but also offered Haley an out: Come on the show to announce her decision, and all would be forgiven.
Failing that, Colbert would also be happy to meet somewhere more convenient – “like my Senate chambers,” he suggested.