Stephen Colbert has his opening. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), the tea party icon, announced Thursday that he will retire from the US Senate in January, leaving Republican Gov. Nikki Haley the task of handpicking DeMint’s immediate successor. A Colbert for Senate Twitter account, @ColbertforSC, sprung up almost immediately, and fans have called for Colbert, the author of such classics as I Am America (And So Can You!) and America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t, to replace DeMint in the hallowed halls of Congress.
Brace yourselves, Colbert Report fans: Colbert, who has made no secret of his desire to hold higher office, says through his publicist that he’s ready and willing to step up for his home state. “Stephen is honored by the groundswell of support from the Palmetto State and looks forward to Governor Haley’s call,” his personal publicist, Carrie Byalick, writes in an email to Mother Jones.
Colbert first tried to run for president in 2007, and then again in 2012, when he boisterously announced his candidacy for the “United States of South Carolina.” In between those failed campaigns, Colbert started his own super-PAC, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and his own dark-money nonprofit, Colbert Super-PAC SHH!. In all seriousness, his money-in-politics skits lampooned the ragged state of campaign finance regulation better than anyone. He bagged a Peabody award for his skewering of the state of political money today.