Now that Stephen Colbert is no longer in charge of Colbert Super PAC, the new head, "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart, is free to endorse a candidate. And in a new ad released Monday evening, Colbert Super PAC endorses former GOP hopeful Herman Cain.
"He's such a Washington outsider, he's not even running for president," the ad's announcer proclaims. Cain, of course, dropped out of the race after numerous sexual allegations were made against him. But since he's still on the ballot and Colbert isn't, he'll clearly have to do.
On Monday night, Colbert Super PAC sent out an email to its supporters to inform them that Jon Stewart, who is "really settling into this Super PAC thing," had a big announcement to make on behalf of the newly renamed "The Definitely Not Coordinating With Stephen Colbert Super PAC." Within the email was a link to a video encouraging South Carolina republicans to vote for Herman Cain, whose last foray into the presidential race was on Friday's "Real Time with Bill Maher."
Colbert, who has had an official proclamation naming him "South Carolina's Favorite Son," tentatively entered the race after he came out ahead of Jon Huntsman in a hypothetical poll. Huntsman has since dropped out, and Colbert has since run a political ad questioning whether or not Mitt Romney is a serial killer.
After last week's announcement that Colbert is "forming an exploratory committee to lay the groundwork for [his] possible candidacy for the President of the United States of South Carolina," Colbert was forced to relinquish control of Colbert Super PAC to avoid a conflict of interest.
Colbert and Cain go way back. Most notably, Colbert parodied Cain's "cigarette" campaign ad to great effect, saying of Cain, "He is the Washington outsider who's not afraid to say the things the nation needs to hear, then can't believe it just heard." He also begged Cain to stay in the race when he dropped out over sexual harassment allegations.
Colbert set up the Super PAC as a satirical response to the landmark Citizens United case, which declared that corporations are able to donate unlimited funds to candidates. Like other Super PACs, Colbert's (former) organization allows him to spend unlimited money influencing the 2012 election. After encouraging Iowa voters to support Rick "Parry" in the Des Moines Straw Poll, and now declaring that he will attempt to run for president in South Carolina, it would seem Stephen Colbert is just getting started. One might say that "no" place is a ticket to ride.
We won't know until the wee hours following the primary on Saturday, January 21 whether or not Colbert's campaign has the influence to deprive Romney of a hat trick, but we'll enjoy the ride between now and then.
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