Update: Newt Wins! MSNBC @ 7 pm.
Stephen Colbert’s unfunny run for president
By Colbert I. King, The Washington Post
Published: January 20
I don’t find comedian Stephen Colbert’s involvement in the Republican presidential race the least bit funny.
I fail to see the humor in Colbert urging South Carolinians to vote in Saturday’s primary for businessman Herman Cain, who dropped out of the presidential race but whose name remains on the ballot. Throwing away votes degrades a system already brought low by the unprecedented airing of negative ads so early in the nominating process.
Besides, too much has gone into getting the right to vote to treat the ballot like a game. Cain, who held a joint rally with Colbert in South Carolina on Friday, should know better.
Acquiring the millions needed to get a presidential campaign off the ground requires grueling hours of asking people and groups to part with their treasures on behalf of your cause.
Now introduce into that mix an entertainer who takes neither himself nor the political process seriously, who lives for laughs and satire, and has the prominence and enough dough to form a super PAC and try to muscle his way into the nominating process. The result is a mockery of the race.
Maybe I’m becoming a curmudgeon. But I don’t see the humor.
As nearly as I can determine, that is his real name and he is a real contributor to the Washington Post. You can’t just make this stuff up folks.
Chuck Todd @ Winthrop University
Part the First
Part the Second
Stephen Colbert shows Republicans how to draw a crowd
By David Horsey, L.A. Times
January 21, 2012, 8:16 a.m.
Reporting from Charleston, S.C. — Under the looming live oaks at the College of Charleston on Friday, Stephen Colbert delivered a clinic on how to produce a whiz-bang political rally. Significantly, not one of the Republican candidates this year has exhibited the star power to bring off such an extravaganza themselves.
Before Colbert delivered his satirical address, he allowed Cain a good chunk of time to give a speech very similar to one he delivered the day before to a sparse audience at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. The multitude Colbert provided him was at least 20 times bigger, but Cain’s platitudinous profundities would have been better saved for a Kiwanis luncheon. Even if sexual harassment allegations had not caught up with him, it’s clear that, by now, he still would have been sidelined alongside Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman and Michele Bachmann. Colbert is not only more funny, he is a far sharper analyst of contemporary politics.
The pertinent question raised by Colbert’s attention grab on the day before South Carolina’s primary vote is why the four remaining Republican candidates are not drawing crowds as big and adoring as Colbert’s. Yes, Colbert is a celebrity. He’s an expert entertainer. And it’s not too hard to get a few thousand college kids to skip class on any day of the week. But four years ago at this point in the campaign, both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were pulling in crowds as big or bigger. John McCain was packing the gymnasiums pretty well too. And, later in the campaign, Sarah Palin proved she could rock an arena.
This year’s candidates are avoiding big events because they do not want to be photographed in half-empty halls. Gingrich actually refused to speak to the GOP leadership conference because so few Republicans showed up.
Stephen on Morning Joe
What’s up with that Occupy Wall Street stuff? I don’t get it!
WH Correspondents’ Dinner
He’s talking about you Chuck.
I’m putting this up while it’s still early enough to get to the polls in South Carolina, home of sedition, treason, segregation, and slavery (not that I’m under any illusion about the penetration of our readership in the Palmetto State), but I’ll bump it to become our anchor Open Thread when the results start coming in.