While comedian Stephen Colbert's recent launch of an exploratory committee is satirical, his message is not.
Colbert announced late last week the not-so-serious formation of an exploratory committee for his candidacy for the 2012 presidency of South Carolina. Because having a direct link with a super PAC is illegal, Colbert took the very convenient route of entrusting it to Jon Stewart, his fellow comedian and host of The Daily Show.
The Colbert PAC, which became The Definitely Not Coordinating With Stephen Colbert PAC has already released several satirical ads in South Carolina, bringing attention to important flaws in the dynamics between super PACs and their candidate-of-choice, not to mention the vast amounts of money it allows to flow into campaigns since the controversial Citizens United Supreme Court decision.
One Colbert ad references Republican candidate Mitt Romney's time as head of Bain Capital, calling him “Mitt the Ripper” and “a serial killer.” During an interview with ABC News' This Week host George Stephanopoulos, Colbert responded jokingly to this ad by saying “I don't know if Mitt Romney is a serial killer. That's a question he's going to have to answer” as a clear swipe at the questionable ads the candidates allow their PACs to run.
Because South Carolina does not allow ballot write-ins, Colbert and The Definitely Not Coordinating With Stephen Colbert PAC have found a creative solution (without working together): the PAC is now running an ad titled "Not Abel" claiming Colbert's name is really Herman Cain, whose name is still on the ballot.
Colbert, of course, made this attempt during the last presidential election as well.