Politics can be such a dry, drab, thing; what with pin-striped suits, creaky decorum and jowly fellows pontificating on topics of great import and little pizzazz (I got a little tired just writing that). So after the culture-at-large agreed that this election sent a message to shake things up, it follows that the powers-that-be oughta be willing to shimmy a little, push the envelope; innovate, get … crazy.
So when a creaky Tea Party senator from South Carolina (Jim DeMint) takes a premature bow for, purportedly, one set of reasons (a nifty new job) but likely for another (his party isn’t Tea-Partying enough), the opportunity seems ripe for change; Change with a capital C and that rhymes with glee and that stands for … Colbert. Stephen Colbert, that is. He wants the job, he wants to be “The Gentleman from South Carolina.” He’s raised his hand, he feels qualified, and he’s ready to put in his application. All he needs is a call, an outstretched hand, a step up, from one of his BFF’s and frequent guests, Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina.
In a personal pitch that left no doubt his biggest fan in politics is himself, Colbert did his usual (hilarious) dog and pony show to convince Haley he’s got the right stuff to replace Jim DeMint, while soliciting the collaborative efforts of his fans to help shoo him in the doors of Congress. Politico reports:
On Thursday night’s “Colbert Report,” the comedian asked viewers to send messages to the governor’s Twitter handle, @NikkiHaley, telling her to name the South Carolina native to the Senate seat of Republican Jim DeMint, who is leaving the upper chamber to run The Heritage Foundation. […]
“When I look at the U.S. Senate, I say to myself: ‘You know what they could use? Another white guy,’” Colbert said.
Colbert would not be the first “former comic” to find his way to a spot on the Hill. Preceding him would be Fred Grady, who played the beloved “Gopher” for the full run of TV’s M.A.S.H. and was later elected to the House of Representatives for the state of Iowa from 1987-1995. Al Franken, SNL-vet, renowned author, and longtime comedy partner of the late Tom Davis in the duo, Franken & Davis, is currently the Senator from Minnesota. Clearly Colbert would be in good company as a “fool on the Hill.” (And while here may be others in Congress for whom that assignation applies, likely it’s not on purpose!)
Governor Haley, always a good spirit when it comes to Colbert, responded to his self-recruiting pleas as follows:
“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,” Haley wrote. “But you forget one thing, my friend. You didn’t know our state drink. Big, big mistake.”
Turns out, on a previous guest spot on the Colbert Report, Colbert and Haley got into a feisty little trivia contest and Stephen lost when he couldn’t identify the official drink of South Carolina (turns out it’s milk, which hardly seems fair). Colbert fans, known as “The Nation,” contend that he’s eaten enough crow on the issue of milk and it’s time to reward his enthusiasm with a shot at the Senate. We’ll see if Governor Haley has forgiven the dairy gaffe, at least enough to throw a little bone his way.
To view Colbert’s shameless pitch, see video: