Published January 13, 2012
President Stephen Colbert?
Now that Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert has passed control of his Super PAC to BFF Jon Stewart and announced he is running for the GOP presidential nomination in South Carolina, that scenario is one step closer to reality.
Here's how it all went down.
On the Jan. 12 edition of his show “The Colbert Report,” Colbert asked his lawyer, former Federal Election Commission chairman Trevor Potter, “Can I run for president and keep my super Pac? Don’t sugar coat it.”
Potter explained: “No. You cannot be a candidate and run a super PAC. That would be coordinating with yourself.”
Hence, Colbert passed control of his super PAC, “Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow” to Stewart, who hosts "The Daily Show" in the slot preceding Colbert.
“I’m honored,” said Stewart. “But... can we do this? Because you and I are also business partners.”
Stewart is a producer on "The Colbert Report."
Colbert turned to Potter for guidance.
“Being business partners does not count as coordination, legally,” the attorney explained.
With Colbert and Stewart’s signatures on a single legal document, Colbert is now legally on his way to a legitimate presidential run, according to his lawyer.
“Now that that’s all cleared up, I have a major announcement to make,” Colbert said. “I am proud to announce that I am forming an exploratory committee to lay the groundwork for possible candidacy for president of the United States of America of South Carolina.”
As red, white and blue balloons dropped from the ceiling, Colbert triumphantly cheered, “I’m doing it!”
Colbert is a native of South Carolina. Although the filing deadline to run in the GOP primary there is past, Colbert, who said he is polling at 5 percent in the state, could undertake a write-in candidacy.
Colbert’s 501(c)4 is the Colbert Super PAC SHH (as in “shh”) Institute.