Colbert Files for South Carolina Primary

Stephen Colbert has filed for the South Carolina Democratic primary.

Stephen Colbert’s fanciful White House bid took a real step Thursday. It’s up to South Carolina Democrats to decide whether to take him seriously.

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.

Whether he’ll appear on the ballot will be decided by party officials later Thursday. The host of “The Colbert Report” doesn’t appear to meet the party’s viable candidate qualification. And it’s unclear if he would meet the requirement that candidates actively campaign in the state.

Colbert did appear Sunday at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, telling several hundred fans he would, if elected, “crush the state of Georgia.” He also received a key to the capital city and the mayor declared him South Carolina’s “favorite son.”

Unless the primary ballot will consist only of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards, Colbert would appear as “viable” as anyone. Certainly, he’s got a better shot at attracting support than Dennis Kucinich and he’s polling ahead of Bill Richardson, Joe Biden, and Chris Dodd, too.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Eneils Bailey says:

    There’s hardly anything more meaningless than a South Carolina Democrat primary.

    In 2004, John Edwards won with a plurality of the vote. Al Sharpton got 10 percent of the vote, hardly enough to propel either candidate to greater heights. That was the high point of both their political ambitions for the 2004 cycle.

    In the last general election, the only state wide election the Democrats won was the Secretary of Education. That was only because the republicans put forth a miserable candidate.