Stephen Colbert's nascent and satirical presidential campaign came to an abrupt end on Thursday as the Democratic Party in South Carolina turned down his application to get on the primary ballot in his native state.
South Carolina is the only state where Colbert sought to get on the ballot. He did not try getting on the ballot as a Republican, which costs $35,000. The Democratic ballot cost $2,500, which Colbert paid by the deadline.
Carol Fowler, chairwoman of the S.C. Democratic Party, said the executive council believed that Stephen Colbert did not meet two basic requirements:
- That he be generally acknowledged as a viable nationwide candidate
- That he be actively campaigning for the state's primary
The council voted 13 to 3 against certifying Stephen Colbert.
"The council really agonized over this because they really like him, they love his show, and everyone thinks it's wonderful that he cares about us," Fowler said, adding that his check will be returned.
Stephen Colbert is the host of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central.
Supporters of Colbert's candidacy have said it cast an amusing, revealing eye on the hype and folly of politics and could have gotten younger voters involved.
But it also drew critics, who said it was a self-promotional distraction that was draining media time and attention away from a serious campaign.
Alas, what would have been one of the great stories of the coming year is not to be. Somewhere, Barack Obama is breathing a deep sigh of relief.