Colbert's race for prez is over

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Just three weeks into his presidential campaign, political comedian Stephen Colbert decided to drop out of the race.

Colbert, host of the satirical talk show The Colbert Report, was dropped off the January presidential primary ballot by the South Carolina Democratic Party last Thursday.

Colbert originally planned to run as both a Republican and a Democrat in his home state of South Carolina, but due to the $35,000 filing fee required by the Republican Party, he decided to run as a Democrat only.

Keiana Page, communications assistant for the South Carolina Democratic Party, said after paying the $2,500 filing fee, presidential candidates must be acknowledged as legitimate throughout news media, and actively campaign in South Carolina.

Although Colbert technically fulfilled these requirements, the South Carolina Democratic Party Executive Council ruled against his candidacy 13 to three.

In response to this decision, Colbert will no longer seek the office of the president, according to an Associated Press release.

“Colbert’s viability was certainly a factor,” Page said.

Although each member of the executive council had their own reasons, Page speculated council members were concerned with how little Colbert campaigned in South Carolina.

Norma Coates, professor of media, information and technoculture at Western and an American citizen, was not surprised with the ruling.

“Now is not a time for humour in American politics.”

Coates said the dire political climate south of the border has left Americans wanting a legitimate solution, not a comedian.

“Maybe two years ago I would have thought differently, [but] things are getting pretty scary.”

Third-year medical science student Basim Mansour said he enjoyed The Colbert Report, but did not think Colbert was ever a legitimate presidential candidate.

“I like the guy, and it’s great that he ran,” Mansour said. “But to be honest, I didn’t think it would last.”

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