If you haven't heard the news by now... well, then you've either just come out of a coma or you've been on some deserted isle. Comedian/actor/satirist Stephen Colbert, noted "pundit" and host of The Colbert Report has finally heard the call and is running for President of the United States!
In South Carolina. As a Republican. And a Democrat. And a favorite son.
Colbert's campaign, which oddly enough seems to be starting just as his book I Am America... And So Can You hits the shelves, is a mystery. Is he serious? (Probably not.) What's his platform? (In part, it's likely anti-bear and pro-truthiness) And just what does Mr. Colbert hope to achieve?
Perhaps the last one can best be answered in two simple words: education and interest.
You see, Colbert has sway over one of the most important, yet traditionally apathetic groups of American: young voters. Barack Obama's been busy trying to court them since he started his run for the White House, but they've been in Stephen's corner for quite some time. Numerous groups on Facebook, Myspace and other social networking Web sites exist to try and get Colbert and Daily Show host Jon Stewart to run for President and Vice-President. In fact, on Facebook alone there are 332 groups alone exist either to support a Colbert '08 campaign or a Stewart/Colbert '08 run. Heck, students at Pitt are even trying to get a new dining hall named after Colbert. Obviously, this is someone popular with the young crowd, and someone who can get their attention focused on an otherwise dull and boring presidential primary.
Yes, Stephen will mock those he is running against. But in the bigger picture, he will get those who are his viewing audience more interested in election politics than they ever could've been before. Even if it's only a million people or so, isn't that better than those same million people not paying attention until the first Monday in November 2008?