Comedy Central's faux-Republican Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report announced on his Thursday show that he's exploring a presidential run in South Carolina. “I am proud to announce that I am forming an exploratory committee to lay the groundwork for my possible candidacy for president of the United States of America of South Carolina. This is a difficult decision. I’ve talked it over with my spiritual adviser. I’ve talked it over with my money."
Before throwing his hat into the Palmetto State, new campaign-finance laws required Colbert to hand over control of the super-PAC he created, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, because candidates cannot run a super-PAC. Naturally, he put Jon Stewart at the helm. Stewart appeared on the show and played along, according to the Times. "I'd be honored to help," he said. And they promised not to coordinate with one another.
Remember, we've seen this from Colbert before, but before super-PACs became a part of the political landscape. In November 2007, Colbert launched a campaign for president and attempted to get on both the Democratic and Republican tickets in his home state, South Carolina. To critics who said he wasn't serious about his intentions at that time he said, "I don't want to be president, I want to run for president. There's a difference." Colbert bowed out in 2007 after Democrats denied him a spot on the ballot and after learning that the filing fee for the Republican primary was too expensive.
Now the invention of super-PACs has given Colbert another opportunity to highlight absurdities in the process. Colbert missed the filing deadline, so he'd be a write-in candidate. But that won't stop the comedian from shaking up the race and filming sketches where he absolutely does not coordinate in any way with a Stewart-run Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow.
This post has been updated throughout.