Why not Stephen Colbert for Senator? Update and Video

The people of South Carolina have spoken or at least spoken to a pollster: they want Colbert as their next Senator. Photo: Stephen Colbert ready for the Senate? AP

WASHINGTON, December 10, 2012 — The good people of South Carolina know what they want and it turns out it is Stephen Colbert as their next Senator. The Public Policy Poll (PPP) found that South Carolinians’ first choice is Colbert with Congressman Tim Scott the next favorite. Disgraced former governor Mark Sanford is on some people’s list, but even his e-wife does better, coming in fourth. 

So why not appoint Stephen Colbert to the U.S. Senate? Senator Colbert has a good ring to it.

After all, we had the star of “Bedtime for Bonzo” as our President: Ronald Reagan. We had a song and dance man who tapped his away across the screen with Shirley Temple and into the Senate: George Murphy. And we had a stand-up comedian who made the rounds of comedy clubs and became a U.S. Senator: Al Franken.

We know that Reagan, Murphy and Franken served or are still serving honorably. Colbert would be following a tradition of entertainers, who are also great communicators, into public office. So why not a comic satirist, who on “The Colbert Nation” takes on the persona of a conservative windbag.

Got Milk?

However, just as the idea was floating across the Internet and on Twitter, the Republican Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley, who would make the appointment to fill departing Sen. Jim DeMint’s seat, basically said, “No, no and no. Stephen Colbert hasn’t got milk.”

OK, what she really put on Facebook was: “Stephen, thank you for your interest in South Carolina’s U.S. Senate seat and for the thousands of tweets you and your fans sent me. But you forget one thing, my friend. You didn’t know our state drink. Big, big mistake.” Then she had a clip of her appearance on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” when the Senator hopeful forgot the South Carolina state drink was milk. (See video below)

This could dash Colbert’s chances of stepping into the Congress to bring his brash sense of duty to a dysfunctional Senate that is badly in need of some shaking up. Gov. Haley is missing a golden, or maybe a bronze, opportunity to make her state proud.

However, Gov. Haley is not the people’s choice, coming in as one of the most unpopular governors in the country, according to the same poll. What a terrific way to bolster her popularity: just appoint Colbert to DeMint’s old seat.

After all, Tea Party darling DeMint was no prize, goading Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) to go farther and farther Right to the detriment of the GOP. And how can we forget the fringe candidates DeMint backed for the Senate (and who fortunately lost): Nevada’s Sharron Angle, Indiana’s Richard Mourdock, and Delaware’s “I’m Not a Witch” Christine O’Donnell? Heck, DeMint even shoved poor South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham so far to the Right, that the poor guy is now more pretzel than senator.

But “Colbert Nation” fans are undeterred by Gov. Haley’s refusal, flooding her with thousands of tweets, using the hashtag #SenatorColbert, still urging her to appoint Colbert to the Senate.

Colbert’s Campaign 

He would have to run to retain the seat in 2014, but that would be fine because by then Colbert would have shown his chops. Or maybe make the Senate even more dysfunctional, if that’s possible. He could make the august body hit rock bottom, and then they would have no choice but to change their ways.

And what does Colbert himself say about this draft Colbert movement? “’Stephen is honored by the groundswell of support from the Palmetto State and looks forward to [South Carolina] Gov. Haley’s call,’ Colbert spokesperson Carrie Byalick told ABC News.”

Colbert already sounds very statesmanlike. What better sign that he is fit for office? He and his wife own a home, albeit a guest house, in South Carolina, so like former presidential candidates Mitt Romney and John McCain or even Democratic Senator John Kerry, he can be wherever he says he’s from. Plus Haley obviously wants a Conservative in that seat and who better than a faux Conservative.

Plus Colbert already had a Presidential PAC — “Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow,” which raised over a million dollars — so he knows how the system works and could start “milking” the big donors right away. He basically has a campaign slogan, if he decided to use it (perhaps in a run in 2014 against whomever Haley appoints):

“I know when I look at the U.S. Senate, I say to myself, ‘You know what they could use? Another white guy,’” adding that he fits that bill.

First the Senate, then the White House in 2024, after Hillary Clinton. Colbert would only be a frisky 60 and just as faux Conservative as ever. Come on, Gov. Haley, don’t blow your chance to regain your popularity by holding Colbert to your silly milk standard.

To contact Catherine Poe, see above. Her work appears in Ad Lib at the Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. She can also be heard on Democrats for America’s Future. She is also a contributor to broadcast, print and online media.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Catherine Poe

Catherine was named one of the top Progressives in Maryland along with Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congresswoman Donna Edwards. She has been a guest of President Obama in the Rose Garden.

As past president of Long Island NOW, she worked to reform women's prisons in New York, open the construction trades to women, change laws to safeguard battered women, and protect the rights of rape victims. 

Long active in Democratic politics, she served as the presidentof the Talbot Democrats in Maryland for six years and fought to getthe Health Care Reform bill passed.

Catherine has been published in a diverse range of newspapers and magazines, including Newsday, Star Democrat, Rocky Mountain News, Yellowstone News, and the Massachusetts Review.

If Catherine has learned anything over the years it is that progressive change does not come easily, but in baby steps. 

Contact Catherine Poe


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