Video of the Day: Stephen Colbert Is In It to Win It (or Something)

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After turning over his super PAC to Jon Stewart, the late-night comedian says he'll run for president in his home state.

Good news, Bill Kristol: that late entry to the Republican race you've been pleading for has arrived. Bad news: that dark horse is deft skewerer of the right Stephen Colbert. A day after Colbert riffed on a Public Policy Polling survey that showed that he had stronger support in South Carolina that Jon Huntsman (who's actually a candidate), he announced on the air Thursday night that he's throwing his hat into the Palmetto State ring. "I am proud to announce that I am forming an exploratory committee to lay the groundwork for my possible candidacy for president of the United States of America of South Carolina," he said.

Humor is all well and good, but it can't violate the law. As a candidate, Colbert would be unable to continue to run his super PAC because of anti-coordination laws, so he turned that over to colleague Jon Stewart, with the aid of a campaign-finance lawyer Trevor Potter. Election-law expert Rick Hasen, who clearly hates fun, points out that there are other serious obstacles blocking Colbert's path to the Republican convention in Tampa Bay -- such as the fact that he's not on the ballot, it's too late to get on, and write-in candidates are banned. It's almost like his announcement is just another installment in his ongoing satire on campaign-finance laws.

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David A. Graham

David Graham is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Politics Channel. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

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