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CAMPAIGN 2012

Stephen Colbert Reveals White House Intentions

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Stephen Colbert appeared at the Federal Elections Commission office in Washington, DC to hear the decision about his filing for a Super PAC on Thursday, June 30, 2011.(Chet Susslin)

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The 2012 presidential field may be about to become a bit larger -- and stranger.

Comedian and right-wing satirist Stephen Colbert announced Thursday night during a taping of his television show The Colbert Report that he's exploring a presidential run in South Carolina and has transferred control of his super PAC to comedian Jon Stewart, host of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, according to the New York Times.

 

But his bid may be short-lived. Colbert missed the filing deadline for South Carolina, and write-in votes are prohibited in political party primaries or for president and vice president, according to state election laws.

With the primary just over a week away, state Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire told CNN, there "won't even be a way for someone to do that because it's not allowed under the law."

Colbert said he began pondering the idea after a poll showed him running ahead of Jon Huntsman in Colbert's home state of South Carolina. (Huntsman, it must be said, back in October invited Colbert -- in Mandarin -- to join his presidential ticket.)

 

The Public Policy Polling survey had Huntsman at 4 percent and Colbert at 5 percent. It also found, though, that Colbert's favorability rating in the state was just 17 percent -- 41 percent had an unfavorable view and the rest weren't sure.

His Comedy Central audience, however, harbors no such doubts.

“Nation, what do you think? Should I run for president in South Carolina?” Colbert asked on Wednesday to sustained cheers. “But that's a really big decision. First, I need to pray on it.”

Pausing momentarily, he said: “OK, God's good with it. But obviously, I still have to go home, sit down, and talk it over with my money.”

 

This wouldn't be Colbert's first stab at the White House. He announced in October 2007 that he would run as a Democrat and a Republican -- "so I can lose twice" -- in the Palmetto State primary. A Facebook group encouraging the effort quickly drew more than 670,000 supporters.

Even though he abandoned that effort, he provided the president's voice for the 2009 movie Monsters Vs. Aliens. And Marvel Comics continued to chronicle his imaginary White House bid.

More recently, of course, Colbert launched his super PAC, "Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow." In a poke at over-the-top campaign ads, the PAC asked participants in last August's Iowa straw poll to write in "Rick Parry" -- "with an A, for America."

 

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