Thursday, November 01, 2007

South Carolina: Shooting itself in the foot

Colbert won't appear on SC ballot, by Jim Davenport, AP.

South Carolina Democrats squashed Stephen Colbert's fanciful White House bid on Thursday.

Colbert, who poses as a conservative talk-show host on the Comedy Central cable network, filed to get on the ballot as a Democratic candidate in his native South Carolina. His campaign paid a $2,500 filing fee just before the noon deadline, said state Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler.

However, after about 40 minutes of discussion by top party officials, the executive council voted 13-3 to keep the host of "The Colbert Report" off the ballot.

"He's really trying to use South Carolina Democrats as suckers so he can further a comedy routine," said Waring Howe, a member of the executive council. And Colbert "serves to detract from the serious candidates on the ballot."

But state Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter told the committee Colbert could showcase the state "in a way that none of the other candidates on the ballot have been able to do."

"I think you're taking this a little too seriously," she said.

I've never been to South Carolina, and I have no immediate plans to visit. To me, the state is one step up from West Virginia, based on nothing but my ignorance. So when I hear that the top Democratic officials in South Carolina are eliminating the only thing that is giving their primary any attention--positive or otherwise--in a desperately overcrowded election, I must roll my eyes, shake my head and wave my fist in the air. Besides Rudy Giuliani's constant 9/11 mentions and Fred Thompson's unwillingness to express defined interest in actually running for President, this is the dumbest, most self-righteous thing I have heard this month regarding the 2008 election. The month of November just began today, so I'm sure I'll find something to top this by next week.

Every big state, from Michigan to Iowa to Arizona, is trying to make their primary the most important one. But the Stephen Colbert announcement last month brought attention to South Carolina, a state that 1) I did not realize John Edwards was also from until now, and 2) I did not know had a primary at all. If I didn't know these facts, and I've been paying so much attention to this Presidential race and US politics in general, how many other people have become interested in this election, primaries and South Carolina based solely on Mr. Colbert?

As if Stephen Colbert would sully the name of South Carolina Democrats. Those people need to get over themselves.


Stephanie said...

As much as I like Stephen Colbert and think his presidential bid "just in SC" was funny, I'm relieved that they aren't putting him on the actual ballot.

Catherine Avril Morris said...

As if Stephen Colbert would sully the name of South Carolina Democrats. Those people need to get over themselves.

And get over the whole thing in general. American politics is already a joke. At least Stephen Colbert running for Prez would have made it a funny one.

Bianca Reagan said...

Why are you relieved, stephanie? Do you hate democracy? :)

catherine, hee!

Stephanie said...

He was doing it as a joke. I just don't see how a bunch of people voting for a fake candidate helps the democratic process?

Bianca Reagan said...

Some of the "real" candidates are jokes to me. The ones who voted for an illegal occupation of an unarmed nation. The ones who think that homosexuality is a choice. The ones who don't stand up to a criminal administration. And those are the Democrats.

If Stephen Colbert wanted to run for President, even if it were just in his home state, I don't see a problem. He was bringing attention to the political process and making the election accessible. There is nothing wrong with what he has done.

Stephanie said...

Don't get me wrong, it's not like I'd be protesting or anything if he had been allowed on the ballot. I'm merely relieved as I stated since I do think it's potential for a problem.

For example, if it was Paris Hilton running for President in California to promote her book or The Simple Life, would you see a problem then?

She'd too would be bringing attention to the political process and making the election accessible.

It’s a joke. It’s for publicity. If we let a fake candidate run now, then when and where do we draw the line?

Bianca Reagan said...

Paris Hilton and Stephen Colbert are both white American celebrities. That is all they have in common. You can't validly compare them. Stephen Colbert's entire persona is a critique of the highly flawed United States political machine. Just because he is funny doesn't mean he is not relevant.

Fred Thompson isn't even funny. I'm not sure why he is running, and I don't think he knows why either. He is best known for starring in Die Hard 2 and reruns of Law & Order. Yet no one drew the line there. The current person in the White House is a draft dodger who started an illegal war because Dick Cheney told him. Maybe someone should have drawn the line there, too.

Who isn't running for President based on publicity?

Stephanie said...

Okay so I'm coming across like I care much too much about this issue. Like I said before, if they'd let him run, I wouldn't have been outraged. I probably wouldn't have even cared. It just so happened when I read your blog, I thought "owell it's probably for the best" and so I wrote my original comment. Then you asked me "Do you hate democracy?" and felt the need to defend myself.

And since I'm insecure I am responding yet again since I feel like you think I'm a moron for comparing Paris Hilton and Stephen Colbert. (I picked her because they are opposites!) My point in comparing them would be that even though they are complete opposites, they (hypothetically) would both be celebrities running for President in one state (home state) when they don't actually want to be president. Except one is liked and his humor is considered politically relevant. But they both don't actually want to be President. If we let him run just because it's a funny joke, in my opinion it would just further prove his "critique of the highly flawed United States political machine".

I don't feel educated enough to comment on the rest of your viewpoints or the other candidates. I just wanted to explain my thought process on the Colbert issue.

Bianca Reagan said...

I care way too much about Stephen Colbert; the fake person, not the real one. I'll have to find some way to fill my 11:30-midnight slot until the strike ends.

I think you are educated. Thank you for explaining your thought process!

Stephanie said...

Hannah Montana reruns are on the Disney Channel 11:30 -midnight. :)

Bianca Reagan said...

See, you do have useful information. [Insert thumbs up here.]