Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Stephen Colbert finished ahead of Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman in South Carolina, but MSM doesn’t care

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2012 South Carolina GOP primary

Candidate Votes % of total
Herman Cain 6,324 1.1
Rick Perry 2,494 0.4
Jon Huntsman 1,161 0.2
Michele Bachmann 494 0.1
Gary Johnson 213 0.0


If you stayed home on a Saturday night to watch the South Carolina coverage, you heard a lot about the top 4 finishers. Though for the one millionth time, Ron Paul got asked (by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer) which of the other candidates he likes best. Ron Paul get asked this question because the MSM loves to pat him on the head like he’s a child wearing a tie or a grown-up dress. To Wolf Blitzer and any other overpriced MSM person: if you want to ask Ron Paul that question, ask it to all the other candidates first and see what their reaction is to your stupid lame question.

What the MSM left out of the conversation was how Stephen Colbert, er, Herman Cain did on Saturday night. True, if you only get 1.1% of the vote, you won’t get much attention. But South Carolina is an unique scenario in the last two election cycles thanks to Stephen Colbert.

The MSM is massively confused by what Colbert does. They don’t even see it as being worthy to be a distraction. Diane Sawyer, reading the story of Colbert’s exploratory committee, had the same look as your dog after someone farts. When Colbert spoke at the White House Correspondents Dinner, the MSM went out of their way not to mention what Colbert did or even his existence. That attitude hasn’t really improved.

Colbert runs for, as he puts it, president of the United States of South Carolina. His attempt is never terribly seriously since he would try to get himself on the ballot. So even during all of what happened, everyone involved knew Colbert couldn’t get on the ballot, and South Carolina rules don’t allow write-in candidates.

Colbert caught a break in 2012 as Herman Cain’s name was on the ballot but had dropped out of the race. Cain’s campaign seemed slightly more legitimate than Colbert’s, yet the MSM gave him much more credit than he deserved. As difficult as it is to believe that a United States state doesn’t accept write-in candidates for the highest office, someone who leaves the race over 45 days before the election can’t be removed.

Herman Cain got 6,324 votes in the South Carolina primary. While that number sounds low, Cain had more votes than Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman (both active when the week began), Michele Bachmann, and Gary Johnson combined.

Even if you think that Colbert was responsible for 80% of Cain’s total, a really conservative estimate, 80% of Cain’s total is still more than the other 4 candidates combined.

Naysayers would note that Colbert was scoring 5% in a South Carolina poll, just before Huntsman dropped out of the race, and only got 1.1% in the election.

Established candidates with staffs and campaigns that just withdrew from the race days before the election did poorly than a late-night comedy show host under a nom de plume that ran a campaign for a week. Colbert didn’t hit the ground in South Carolina until the day before the election, and still outdrew 4 presidential candidates.

The Colbert/Cain rally was described by seasoned political reporters as larger than rallies of major presidential contenders. The idea that people are frustrated with the avalanche of Super PAC ads and that a random billionaire has more power than actual voters is foreign to the MSM. Colbert recognizes this and so does his audience. Colbert’s Super PAC (with Jon Stewart in control) have run spot-on ads criticizing the dependence on money.

We assume that people who run comedy shows are trying to be funny. Colbert and his staff want you to laugh, but his audience is smart enough to know there is a message behind the humor. They are pulling the curtain to expose the madness of millionaires and billionaires who are not “coordinating” with each other.

The Colbert Report has done more to show people the significance of Citizens United on the presidential race. We criticize the MSM as being highly lazy. All we ask is that they watch the Colbert Report Monday-Thursday nights at 11:30 pm Eastern, take notes, and report what you see. MSM people: if you can follow what Colbert is doing, you will be so much smarter.


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  1. At this rate, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul could leave the stage and take a seat in the audience.\nNBCdebate

    Satellite P200

    January 23, 2012 at 9:36 pm

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