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Friday, March 31, 2023

The news is in, and it ain't good.

On Thursday, Stephen Colbert received the news on air that he won't be listed on the South Carolina primary ballot as a Democratic candidate for president.

He had originally planned to run as a Democrat and a Republican in his home state, but when he didn't want to shell out the ,35,000 the Republican Party wanted him to front as a filing fee, he decided to run solely on the Democratic ticket, which cost him ,2,500. But now, he can't even do that.

In a 13-3 vote, the South Carolina Democratic Executive Council decided to reject Colbert's application. In a statement released Monday, Colbert lamented, "Although I lost by the slimmest margin in presidential election history - 10 votes - I have chosen not to put the country through another agonizing Supreme Court battle. It is time for the nation to heal."

At least the council promised to return his check.

In all seriousness, the council probably didn't want him on the ballot because it doesn't want him detracting from "serious" candidates. South Carolina is, after all, a swing state like Florida.

But Colbert wouldn't have let this go too far. He said he wanted to run for president, not be president. Even if he somehow won the Democratic primary in South Carolina, it wouldn't mean anything in the other 49 states.

But we like to think of Colbert's failed bid as a good thing. Well, not the failing part, but the fact that he undoubtedly drew plenty of attention to not just the primaries but the national election.

Perhaps some people who were apathetic before will start paying attention to the real news, not just the Comedy Central brand of it.

Perhaps some people who weren't registered before will fill out a form and get their voter's registration card in time for the primary, be it Jan. 29 (Florida), Feb. 5 (20 states, including South Carolina) or some other date.

Perhaps faking a run for president was the best thing a TV "pundit" could have done for this country.

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