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Penn State Students Bemused By Colbert'S Announcement

This story was written by Katharine Lackey & Margaret Miceli, Daily Collegian

Stephen Colbert announced on his popular cable show Tuesday his intention to run for president of the United States ... in South Carolina.

After taping a teaser on Jon Stewart's The Daily Show, Colbert appeared on his own show, The Colbert Report, a few minutes later where he officially announced his candidacy to cheers and whistles from the audience.

"After nearly 15 minutes of soul searching, I have heard the call," he said "Nation, I shall seek the office of the president of the United States. I am doing it."

Brittany Thomas (sophomore-political science) called Colbert's run "pretty intense."

"It's not surprising, considering how egotistical he is," she said.

Thomas said Colbert's run could have benefits for younger voters.

"I actually think it's a good way to get people involved. It makes younger people think about the primaries," she said. "I just wish Jon Stewart were running."

The catch? Colbert said he will only enter his name in the primary in his native state of South Carolina.

Brooke Stewart (junior-political science) said she doesn't see Colbert ever winning the presidency.

"How can you win in just one state?" she said.

While Colbert's publicist would not comment, both the South Carolina Democratic Party and the South Carolina Republican Party confirmed Colbert had recently been in contact.

Two weeks ago, Colbert's representatives contacted the South Carolina Democratic Party to ask about filing requirements, executive director Joe Werner wrote in an e-mail.

"He has a serious group of people looking into it on his behalf," he wrote. "I think Stephen can bring a lot to the table. A lot of what, I'm not entirely sure yet."

To appear on the Republican Party's primary ballot, Colbert will either have to get a 3,000-signature petition or pay a $2,500 fee. He will also need to actively campaign in South Carolina, file the appropriate paperwork and receive approval from the South Carolina Democratic Executive Council, Werner wrote. The deadline for filing is Nov. 1 and the primary will be held on Jan. 26.

If Colbert seeks to be placed on both parties' ballots, he could disqualify himself, Werner wrote. "There is nothing written that says he can't be on both party's ballots; however, there is a rule [for the South Carolina Democratic Party] that states you have to be considered a Democrat," he wrote.

The South Carolina Republican Party also confirmed Colbert's team contacted its office "within the last few days," said communications director Rob Godfrey. The Republican Party's deadline is Nov. 1, but its primary will be Jan. 19.

James Eisenstein, a political science professor, said he thought Colbert's decision to run in South Carolina was "hilarious."

Eisenstein said Colbert doesn't have a chance to win the state.

"He knows that, too," he said. "He's kind of mimicking the self-importance of a lot of talk show hosts."

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© 2007 Daily Collegian via U-WIRE

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