Stephen Colbert conceded on Monday night’s show that he’s suspending his exploratory research into whether or not he should run in the upcoming American Presidential election. This marks the end of the road that would’ve led to the campaign trail…had he continued on it…which he isn’t…for now…probably…
The story began last time around, back in 2008, and outlined the edges of technicalities from the start.
“Doritos officially sponsored the Hail to the Cheese Stephen Colbert’s Nacho Cheese Doritos 2008 Presidential Campaign Coverage. The money given to Colbert could not be used to directly fund his campaign, so he used the money to fund The Colbert Report. He claimed that he would not use his show to plug Doritos, but plugged the chips during these claims….” Wiki
A highly entertaining way to broach the subject and test the waters. It was a great lesson about how the system works, and as emphasized by the closing shot of this years ads, a great step in Colbert’s and Jon Stewart’s continuing mission to show Americans how their sausage gets made.
It’s been a long time since then, and time of course is the farthest distance between two points, a lot has happened. Obama won, of course, but despite some really good work, and a presence unseen since JFK (oh man did I sob through Barak’s inaugural adress…or acceptance speech. Whatevs. Dude’s got skills on the mic), he wasn’t the miracle worker they hoped he’d be, and when change didn’t come fast enough, the hope ran right out. Bailouts, Occupies, warwarwar, at this point he could give every American a job and a pony and his term could still be seen negatively overall. Poor Barak. I like him. I mean, I like any democrat over any republican in a vote, but he seems like a good and capable guy who would one day look good on money.
Gearing up for the 2012 race, the GOP gaffs and jaw-droppers are keeping me laughing when I’m not busy seething, and I’ve been happily watching them drop like flies. From “oops” to sexual assault claims, to open marriages, it’s been a great day at the races so far, at least, from my side of the fence.
Earlier this year I’d noticed names of Hero$ scrolling across the bottom of The Colbert Report, smelling a loophole being driven through, I checked and found out he was building a SuperPAC, got a vague understanding of what that meant, and sat, waiting.
When Colbert announced that he was considering running for “President of the United States of South Carolina” Ron Paul dropped to my second choice for GOP leader. He transferred his SuperPAC to Jon Stewart, on the air, with their lawyer there, giggling, and rightly so, at what they were doing. Though perfectly legal, it was totally ridiculous and shouldn’t be legal, and it was beautiful.
The proverbial sausage filling was flying everywhere. The now renamed The Definitely Not Coordinating With Stephen Colbert Super PAC started running amazing attack ads voiced by the likes of John Lithgow and Samuel L. Jackson. From there they went on to ads showcasing the waste of money and sketchy legislation that let them do all this to begin with. They removed the veil and explained the process, changing the game whether he stays to play or not.
Then, just when I’m waiting to see what happens when Colbert enters the race (can you imagine him in a debate?) and who would run his show while he kissed hands and shook babies from sea to shining sea comes the next twist: it was too late to get his name on the ballot of the South Carolina primary, but conveniently, it was also too late to take off the names of those who dropped out off of the ballot. Oh man, maybe they could write this shit; I have much faith in their writing staff. The thing is, they didn’t even have to!
SO! What’s the next logical step? Why, call up “Friend of the Show” and the guy Stephen gave his Colbert Bump to many moons and scandals ago, Herman Cain. The ads changed, and the call came in: Vote Cain for Colbert. Next up, rally the troops! Allow me to say that I love any mind (or Borgmind, as I imagine show writers become) that comes up with The Really to Restore Fear And/Or Insanity, and of course, they didn’t disappoint with the Rock Me Like A Herman Cain Rally in Charleston on Friday.
Cheerleaders, marching bands, a gospel choir, Hermain Cain and his bus backed Colbert to the applause of right around 5000 people. Colbert sang, Cain sang, people laughed and smiled, and it all paid off…a little. When the votes were counted in Saturday’s primary, Hermain Cain got over 6000 of ‘em. Fair enough, Newt Gingrich 243,398 and even the eternal underdog Ron Paul 78 093, but it was a small victory: when you consider that Cain got 205 votes in the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries combined, Colbert’s impact is obvious. The Cain-Bert Connection took about 1% of the votes, considerably more than the other drop-outs combined.
It sounds like the end, but there’s a catch that seems too glaring to be coincidental: when Colbert asked for his SuperPAC back, Jon Stewart flew off in the graphic of a zepplin; no lawyers, no drama, no SuperPAC renaming hullaballoo. Technically, while his lips say he’s done stirring the electoral pool, his paperwork says he can storm the campaign trail again anytime, and I hope he does. If not now, see you in 2016.