When Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., made the surprise announcement that he was leaving the Senate to run the Heritage Foundation, it raised some important questions: Why was he jumping now? What did it mean for the Tea Party favorite’s possible Presidential aspirations? What did it say about the ideological struggles in the Republican Party?
And most important: Hey, wait… Stephen Colbert is from where again?
Yes, whatever ramifications DeMint’s DeParture has for Republican and Senate politics, it has the potential to provide some fantastic material for Comedy Central’s late night, if everyone plays their cards right. South Carolina’s governor, Nikki Haley, now has to appoint a replacement for DeMint. And South Carolina’s favorite late-night son, Colbert, not-so-subtly threw is hat into the ring by pointing out the many headlines that suggested he might throw his hat into the ring.
Colbert is never so funny, or educational, as when he’s “running” for office or otherwise interjecting himself into the electoral process. (With the possible exception of when, as this Hobbit Week, he goes full-bore fantasy geek and starts dropping Elvish on us.) He’s run as a write-in in his home state’s primaries before, and his (well-funded) Super PAC campaign during the 2012 election was a hilarious but also sharply informative lesson on how big-money politics works now. A noisy, protracted campaign to fill an unexpected power seat is just the Christmas present the Colbert Nation needs.
So take your time, Gov. Haley. But that’s not all we have to look forward to: whomever she appoints (presumably not Colbert) will have to stand in a special election in 2014—plenty of time for certain interested parties to mount a campaign. Program your DVRs, folks, and get your checkbooks ready.