Stephen Colbert announced his intention to run for president of the "United States of America of South Carolina" at the taping of his show Thursday night. The Comedy Central comedian will try to compete in South Carolina's GOP primary on January 21.
While Colbert won't actually compete for the GOP nomination in the general election, he will challenge Mitt Romney in a pivotal election state.
"I'm proud to announce I plan to form an exploratory committee to lay the groundwork for my candidacy. Clearly my fellow South Carolinians see me as the only Mitternative," he said.
What's Colbert up to? Colbert was likely spurred on by a recent poll from Public Policy Polling, which showed him leading Jon Huntsman by a percentage point in South Carolina, which is Colbert's home state.
This is not the first time that he has toyed with the idea of running for public office. In the last election, Colbert tried to enter the race in South Carolina as a member of the Democracy party, but he ran into bureaucratic hurdles. He also formed a Colbert Super PAC, which the Federal Election Commission approved in June 2011. In addition, he offered to fund the South Carolina primary, as long as he got to attach his name to it.
In the end, Colbert may not be able to enter the race in South Carolina, beause the state does not permit write-in votes for the primaries. Chris Whitmire, spokesperson for the South Carolina Election Commission, said there "won't even be a way for someone to do that because it's not allowed under the law."
Nonethless, Colbert's attempt to run for president will make headlines, and if it succeeds, may steal some votes away from Romney, the GOP frontrunner. Every Republican presidential candidate since 1980 has won South Carolina's primary. Will Colbert change that?
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