Late Night: Stephen Colbert ends presidential campaign


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Stephen Colbert may not be a real politician, but he sure knows how to spin like one.

On Saturday, Republican voters in Colbert’s home state of South Carolina went to the polls. Since Colbert was not on the ballot in the state, he encouraged his supporters to vote for Herman Cain instead.

The two even appeared together at Friday’s ‘Rock Me Like a Herman Cain South Cain-olina Primary Rally,’ an event where Colbert once again drew attention to his favorite issue, the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling. ‘If corporations are people, people with the constitutional right to influence our elections, then I promise you: A government of those people, by those people, and for those people shall not perish from the earth,’ he said before a crowd of hundreds at the College of Charleston.


Surprisingly enough, the lofty rhetoric wasn’t enough to clinch a victory for the Cain-Colbert ticket, which wound up in fifth place with just 1% of the vote in South Carolina. But on Monday night, Colbert was able to see the silver lining in the disappointing finish. ‘We are the 1%. Eat it, ‘others’ and ‘statistical anomalies.’ We made it to the integers,’ he boasted.

With some 6,000 votes, Cain fared better than Perry, Bachmann and Huntsman combined. As Colbert put it, ‘We beat everyone who was no longer trying to win.’

Still, after the modest showing in South Carolina, Colbert could no longer justify his quasi-campaign. ‘It is with a heavy heart and a spastic colon that I am re-suspending Herman Cain’s suspended campaign,’ Colbert announced, with all the faux solemnity he could muster. ‘I hereby am officially ending my exploratory committee to run for president of the United States of South Carolina.’

After thanking his exploratory committee -- which he said included Henry Kissinger, Bagger Vance, Criss Angel, and a roll of quarters -- Colbert had one last order of business to attend to: regaining control of his super PAC. The only problem? Jon Stewart wasn’t exactly eager to hand over the reins. This could get ugly.

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— Meredith Blake