Stephen Colbert ends presidential bid

Stephanie Yang

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Northwestern alumnus Stephen Colbert announced the termination of his exploratory committee to become president Monday on his comedy-news show “The Colbert Report.”

“‘The Colbert Report’ is political but funny, so I think it’s very in line with what he does,” Communication senior Bruna Giberti said about Colbert’s campaign. “He just took it to the next level.”

Colbert’s attempts to get on the ballot for the South Carolina Republican primary failed, but the publicity his presidential candidacy generated has brought attention to the actions of super PACs, political action committees that receive funds from unnamed donors to back presidential candidates.

These super PACs are allowed by the Campaign Legal Center as long as they have no affiliation with any of the candidates.

Colbert relinquished control of his own super PAC, which was renamed, “The Definitely Not Coordinating With Stephen Colbert Super PAC” to his fellow comedian Jon Stewart.

This super PAC encouraged voters in support of Colbert to vote for Hermain Cain, who still appeared on the ballot despite having dropped out of the race.

According to an article from the Huffington Post, Colbert received over 6,000 votes; however, it was not enough to keep his campaign going.

Weinberg sophomore Luke Moderhack said he thought Colbert’s bid for presidency exposed the flaws of the United States political system. He said no one has ever made an entire joke out of the political election.

“He’s willing to go further than most people,” Moderhack said. “His humor goes from TV into the real world.”

Colbert’s super PAC ads imitate anti-Mitt Romney ads from a super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich. One of Colbert’s ads accuses Mitt Romney of being a serial killer.

Colbert reportedly denies having anything to do with these advertisements and said he is not in collaboration with the super PAC, according to an article from ABC News.

“This super PAC thing seems sort of sketchy,” Moderhack said. “Exploring the limits of those can’t hurt.”

However, Weinberg senior Mikhail Attaar said he does not take Colbert very seriously.

“Around election time he does a bunch of stuff and I can’t decide if it’s a joke or not,” Attaar said. “He’s a comedian. That’s what I see him as.”

Whether Colbert’s antics have actual effects on the race or not, some students said they appreciate the stunt simply for its humor.

SESP junior Ali Lasher said she thought the super PAC ads were hilarious. Lasher watches “The Colbert Report” and said she loves it.

“A lot of the things he does is classic Northwestern,” Lasher said. She said he takes a stand in what he believes in on many issues, which she compared to NU students. “The theatrical comedic component is a very Northwestern trait,” Lasher added.

syang2015@u.northwestern.edu

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