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TV satirist Colbert preps for possible presidential run

By Jake Coyle

AP Entertainment Writer

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 05:21 a.m. HST, Jan 13, 2012


NEW YORK >> Stephen Colbert isn't running for president — at least not yet.

During Thursday night's episode of "The Colbert Report," Colbert legally transferred his super political action committee to his friend and Comedy Central cohort Jon Stewart. Dropping by from "The Daily Show," Stewart happily signed the documents and accepted the post, which was ceremonially observed by the two holding hands and bodily transferring the PAC powers.

The move potentially paves the way for Colbert to enter the Republican presidential primary in South Carolina, his home state. Campaigning politicians are prohibited from simultaneously running super PACs.

But Colbert only hinted at such a decision, which he had grandly hyped ahead of Thursday's show. In flirting candidate style, he announced that he is forming "an exploratory committee to lay the groundwork for my possible candidacy for the president of the United States of South Carolina."

Patriotically colored balloons were released in the studio while a graphic screamed "I'm Doing It!"

Stewart and Colbert hashed out the peculiar legalities of their arrangement. With Colbert's lawyer (and former chairman of the Federal Election Commission) Trevor Potter on hand, they spelled out that while Colbert was legally forbidden from participating in strategy and advertising with the super PAC, he could still talk about his plans on his TV show and even volunteer for the super PAC.

Stewart declared Colbert vice president of youth outreach for the super PAC, which was renamed The Definitely Not Coordinated with Stephen Colbert Super PAC. Along with Potter, the three joined hands like a sports team and — with thick irony — cheered in unison: "Non-coordination!"

In 2007, Colbert attempted to enter the South Carolina primary but was stymied by filing fees. The super PAC could very well eliminate any such financial concerns. Colbert hasn't publically revealed the amount raised from viewer contributions by the PAC, but on Thursday he repeatedly hinted that it was a shockingly large amount.

Colbert has otherwise been very transparent about the PAC's workings, using it to parody the current system's contradictions and potential conflicts of interest. Political action committees stem from a 2010 Supreme Court decision that changed the rules of corporate political donations.

A Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday found that Colbert is polling ahead of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman in South Carolina. According to the survey, Colbert has 5 percent of the vote and Huntsman has 4 percent.

Upon reading those results on "The Report" on Wednesday, Colbert said: "This just got real."







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timtower wrote:
colbert!
on January 13,2012 | 06:24AM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
It would be almost funny to see this pundit to feel the full of the responsibilities and sheer weight of office he makes so light of and see his hair turn grey before our eyes as his contemporaries satire him.
on January 13,2012 | 07:02AM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
oops too much editing...anyway...like his political stance or not, Colbert is intelligent. It would be interesting to see what this guy *could* do (no doubt this is just ratings hype).
on January 13,2012 | 07:09AM
entrkn wrote:
Colbert would be the most viable candidate... by far.
on January 13,2012 | 08:36AM
Eradication wrote:
Comparatively speaking not at all silly. He brings to light the absurdity of PAC. Colbert does not mock the system just the way people manipulate it to obtain political power.
on January 13,2012 | 11:02AM
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