This Day in 2007

Back on October 18, 2007, I posted on my then-blog, Peaceful Ponderings, about the one and only Stephen Colbert putting in a bid to run for president:

“It has become known within the last day or so that the wise-cracking, political comedian Stephen Colbert has announced he is running for the presidency out of his home state of South Carolina. Known for his work on THE DAILY SHOW and his own COLBERT REPORT, it is hard for viewers to know whether or not Colbert is being serious about his self-nomination, especially considering his claim to be running on both the Democratic and Republican ballots.

“If it is true, I ask you, should he run? What experience does he have? Sure, he hosts a political news show…on Comedy Central. He probably is much more politically savvy than most Americans, to be sure. But what are his stances? What are the issues he cares about? And why should Americans vote a comedian into office (not to say that our current president isn’t a comedican in his own right)? Unfortunately, there does not seem to be much coverage of his claim just yet, which makes it difficult to answer any of these questions. In fact, perusing NYTimes.com, there is only one article about Colbert and it’s not found under the Politics link, but the Television link. Something tells me America is not paying much mind to the newest member of the 2008 presidential race.

“I suppose the media cannot be too much at fault since, evidently, Colbert has not been returning any of their phone calls: “He did not return messages left with various publicists yesterday. Mr. [Jon] Stewart declined to be interviewed” (Steinberg, “Colbert Consulted Parties Before Announcing Run,” NYTimes.com, 18 Oct 2007). Could he be avoiding the press because his joke went to far, or because he hasn’t yet come up with the funds to put his name on the ballot? The latter seems hard to believe. Colbert is most likely pulling in millions each year and the filing fee is a mere $35,000. So what gives?

“I would venture a guess that, if he is truly running, he could have a very good chance considering his popularity with the youth of America. If he focuses his campaign on citizens between the ages of 18 and 25, he will be tapping into a rich source known in the past for its poor voter turn-out. If this group has a candidate they can relate to, I have a feeling they will be much more likely to show up at the polls on Election Day.

“This is an interesting turn-of-events in the 2008 race. We have candidates out there the likes of which we haven’t seen before: an African American, a woman and now a comedian. Come to think of it, it’s only the political left that is shaking things up. I can’t say that I’m surprised.”

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