UPDATE: A spokesperson for Stephen Colbert tells us, "Stephen is honored by the groundswell of support from the Palmetto State and looks forward to Governor Haley's call."
Republican Jim DeMint of South Carolina is exiting the Senate before his term is over, which is a win/win all around. He'll leave to head up the Heritage Foundation and Stephen Colbert can take his Senate seat.
Yes, you read that correctly. Under the guise of his blustery "Colbert Report" character, Stephen Colbert has launched stunt presidential bids twice, in 2008 and 2012, attempting to get on the ballot only in his native state of South Carolina. So why wouldn't he try to nab a U.S. Senate seat from the state?
After trying to run for president in 2012, he set up his own Super PAC in order to raise money for his preferred campaign causes (such as rallies for Herman Cain after he dropped out of the race). In a recent interview with Playboy, Colbert explained that he started the Super PAC as a sort of public education masked as comedy. "If you just talk about it, everyone sits on their hands and the reality of it just watches as you talk about it," he said. "But by putting yourself in it, reality has to respond to your actions."
"The Colbert Report" eventually received a Peabody Award for its Super PAC coverage.
The Super PAC still has up to $900,000 left over, although the organization has been formally dissolved. According to a recent Reddit AMA with his lawyer, Trevor Potter, it's publicly unknown how Colbert plans to spend the remaining money, although Potter said he is "confident the money will be well-used."
So now that DeMint is leaving the Senate, Colbert is presented with the perfect opportunity to use that money to run for national office as a senator from the state that calls him its "favorite son."
There's one problem, though: Colbert can't actually serve in the Senate. His Comedy Central contract ends in 2014, which is as long as DeMint's replacement will serve after Gov. Nikki Haley appoints DeMint's replacement. But we certainly hope he has some fun in the meantime.
What do you think? Is it Colbert's time to shine?