Satirist Stephen Colbert announced his plans to run for President during his Comedy Central show The Colbert Report on Tuesday night. “After nearly 15 minutes of soul-searching, I have heard the call,” he said. He will be running only in his home state of South Carolina, as both a Democrat and a Republican.
Is there really “room for another comedian in the presidential race?” said Mark Memmott and Jill Lawrence in USA Today’s blog. And can Colbert “take the kind of scrutiny that doomed Pat Paulsen" and other comics who’ve gone before him? He certainly doesn't seem eager for the rigors of the campaign trail: He’s entering the primary in South Carolina, but hasn’t mentioned if he’ll campaign anywhere else. “What, no national race, Colbert? Can’t take it?”
It’s possible that this isn’t entirely a joke, said Jacques Steinberg in The New York Times. Colbert was “serious enough about the stunt that his staff reached out to the state’s Democratic and Republican committees in advance of his declaration.” But then again, he might just be “stoking interest in his show and his new book, I Am America (and So Can You!).”
Colbert must be talked out of this, said George Maynard in The Daily Campus. If he becomes President, “there will be no more The Colbert Report”—and then how would most college students get their news? All kidding aside, though, Colbert has a strong presence on the Internet, so it’s possible that “Internet-savvy students will jump ship from the serious candidates they are supporting in order to climb aboard the Colbert juggernaut.”