From the Los Angeles Times:
Stephen Colbert’s bid to formally join the presidential race in South Carolina was rejected Thursday by the state’s Democratic Party leaders, who said that the late-night comedian’s candidacy would distract from the serious business of picking a presidential nominee.
Serious business? Have they seen the debates so far?
The executive council of the South Carolina Democratic Party voted 13-3 to keep Colbert off the January primary ballot, saying the Comedy Central star did not meet guidelines requiring a candidate to be viable and to campaign actively for the job.
The panel found that eight other Democrats — including former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel and Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio — were worthy of spots on the ballot for the vote, now scheduled for Jan. 26. Colbert’s $2,500 filing fee will be refunded.
“He clearly doesn’t meet the requirements,” said Waring Howe Jr., one of the executive council member who voted against Colbert. “It’s a distraction and takes away from the seriousness of our primary here and takes attention from the serious candidates: Clinton, Edwards, Barack Obama and the rest.”
Howe added that he thought that Colbert “might be trying to use us . . . to achieve some kind of status he doesn’t really deserve.”
One has to wonder if Mr. Howe owns a television set. He certainly doesn’t own a sense of humor.
Colbert visited the state last weekend, appearing before students at the University of South Carolina and at a reception for Democratic activists, including some members of the party’s executive council.
Before a noon Thursday deadline, a Colbert representative filed the appropriate papers and paid the registration fee. The Democratic executive council also received a two-page letter in which the would-be candidate made “a last appeal” to their “sense of humor and fair play.”
Acknowledging that his candidacy might seem like a “mockery,” Colbert argued that he would serve up some good, along with laughs — by urging the many young people who watch his show to register to vote, by promoting his native state and its products, and by directing donations to local charities.
Colbert pledged to keep attention focused on the state, even if Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) renders the primary less significant after “she crushes her rivals in Iowa like stone-ground yellow grits.”
South Carolina Democratic Party–anal bunch or the analest bunch?