With its snack-food sponsorship, Democratic and Republican affiliations, and Sen. Larry Craig as a possible running mate, Stephen Colbert's run for the presidency is hardly serious business. But the joke could be on Colbert if federal election officials decide his candidacy is for real.
If his campaign plays out the way he's indicated that it will, Comedy Central and Colbert's sponsor, Doritos, could be violating federal laws that bar corporations from backing political campaigns, election law experts say.
Given the quality of candidates being shoved onto my plate by both parties, I had pretty much resigned myself to doing a write-in vote for The One True Tami (blessed be Her name) for president next year. Then, along came Stephen Colbert - a breath of fresh air in a stagnant, if not poisonous political environment. What is his platform? Who cares! He's got to be better than Hillary or Rudy.
Colbert only tossed his hat in the metaphorical ring last week, but a recent Rasmussen poll of likely voters from across the country already shows him grabbing 13% of the vote in a hypothetical three way race against Clinton and Giuliani. (Hillary came in with 45% while Rudy took 35%.) Is Colbert violating "the law" by accepting a $3,500 donation from a nacho snack chip company? Could Comedy Central be liable for allowing him to use his show to flack for his campaign?
Maybe. But compared to the beltway bandits he's up against, if that's the worst sin he commits then he's likely the closest to sainthood of anyone in the running. Sure, the entire thing may be a joke, but he's certainly gotten me to thinking... we already elected an actor as President, not to mention the Governator's mansion in California. Hell, we had a professional wrestler too. Fred Thompson is currently running second place to Rudy and he was an actor on Law and Order. (I'm not really a presidential candidate, but I do play one on t.v.)
Could Stephen Colbert really do worse than the current office holder or the pack of pork fed career politicians seeking the White House? If nothing else, the press conferences would be worth watching. Hey, FEC! Lay off Colbert and go figure out some real vote fraud problems in Florida and Ohio before we have a repeat of 2000.