Comedy Central star Stephen Colbert has had some fun with the notion of occupying the seat being vacated by South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, joking that he might buy the seat with unmarked bills left over from his (very real) super PAC. But a poll released this week showed him actually winning the support of a plurality of voters, giving him an edge over more conventional candidates. His support comes mostly from Democrats, so there's little chance of Republican Gov. Nikki Haley tapping him to fill DeMint's seat. However, the seat will be up for grabs in 2014, no matter who Haley appoints. Should Colbert follow in the footsteps of fellow funnyman Al Franken and enter politics, seriously?
Colbert is less of a joke than most politicians: "Stephen Colbert would likely be a great U.S. senator," and "no, I'm not joking," says Dean Obeidallah at The Huffington Post. His quips are often "lined with political insight," helping his audience learn about the great issues of the day through satire. "Colbert's moderate views on many issues and his preaching for sanity in Washington, D.C., are exactly what this nation needs."
"Stephen Colbert for U.S. Senate! (Seriously)"
Congress needs serious leaders, not jokers: Colbert "should stick to comedy," David N. Bossie, president of the Citizens United advocacy group, tells Politico. The novelty of having a jokester in the Senate wore off as soon as Al Franken got there. It's time to put an end to the "Hollywood entitlement culture" that transforms comics and actors — you listening, Ashley Judd? — into instant politicians. We need serious, committed public servants, not "self-centered celebrities."
"Has Stephen Colbert run his course?"
South Carolina has done a lot worse: Sure, the rest of the country would "poke fun at South Carolina politics" if Colbert took DeMint's seat, says Michelle Cottle at The Daily Beast. "But, let's face it, most of the country already makes fun of South Carolina politics." After all, this is the state that gave us Rep. Joe Wilson, of "You lie!" fame. "Tapping one of the nation's sharpest political satirists for DeMint's seat" would surely "lift the state's standing in the eyes of many."
"Why Stephen Colbert deserves South Carolina's Senate seat"