Fake conservative talk show host Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report has fake announced that he plans to run for president this year, tossing his hat in the ring with other conservatives Mitt Romney, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, and even poor old Fred Thompson. Colbert mocks the news, himself and now the ridiculous charade of an American presidential election.
At first it seemed that Colbert was doing it to sell his hilarious new book, I Am America (And So Can You!). But then he acted rather coy on The Daily Show by pretending that he had something to announce but that he would be announcing it on a prestigious show. He then announced it, with much fanfare, on his own show, and let me tell you, not a moment too soon. If this is what it took to get him off of the injured wrist sympathy grab, so be it.
Most liberal-minded, alternative news source junkies and all-around Comedy Central and Daily Show fans are down with Colbert. His running for president is yet another brilliant stunt by this ballsy comedian who once dressed down the President and all of his men, famously, at the White House Correspondents dinner. Colbert is afraid of no one.
Colbert followed up his announcement by appearing at the same places as real candidates, most notably, NBC’s Meet the Press. It isn’t surprising that host Tim Russert would have Colbert on his show; most of the big news guys court Colbert and Jon Stewart in hopes that, perhaps, they too will be in on the joke. Unfortunately, Russert is not funny, which made for an awkward moment or two during the interview. It is striking, however, to watch Colbert say the same things candidates say in all seriousness.
On day two of Colbert’s presidential run, he accepted corporate sponsorship of Doritos, but he’s navigating sticky waters because election laws won’t allow Doritos to fund his campaign, though he was able to funnel the money through The Colbert Report and use his website to report on the campaign.
Where Colbert plans to go from here is, well, South Carolina, because that is the only state he’s running in. Republicans, not surprisingly, aren’t too thrilled with Mr. Colbert’s lampooning of the process. The Washington Post took it upon themselves to take a poll of potential candidates. Colbert came in fifth with Democrats but the Republicans gave him less than one percent. Colbert is running as both a Democrat and a Republican.
No one seems to know how far he’ll go with this; it’s an unprecedented move by an unprecedented, and clever, TV personality. Many comedy shows have mocked the news over the years, like Saturday Night Live, but no one has ever done it this intensely and this successfully.
Why shouldn’t Colbert mock the process, though, when it is such a ridiculous one to begin with? If our potential presidents have to be charismatic and look good on TV above all other things, something has gone very, very wrong. Colbert and Stewart are helping to start a noisy revolution that may or may not have an impact on the election itself. He is sticking to the rules and actually trying to take this baby as far as he can. Where it goes is a mystery. We’ve never seen anything like this before.
If the Republicans or the Democrats wanted to join in the fun, they ought to invite Colbert along for a presidential debate. No doubt there would be plenty of “truthiness” to go around.
All of his campaign news can be found at indecision2008.com.