Haley: Stephen Colbert didn't clear the Senate vetting process

With the resignation of South Carolina’s junior senator Jim DeMint, Republican Gov. Nikki Haley has the task of appointing a replacement.

Congressmen Tim Scott and Trey Gowdy are considered front-runners for the appointment, but a popular third choice quickly emerged: Comedy Central host and South Carolina native Stephen Colbert. Colbert, who impersonates an under-informed and oafish conservative on his show The Colbert Report, is famous for agitating his broad fanbase to complete publicity stunts–from boosting Colbert’s  Christmas album to number one on iTunes to getting a portion of the International Space Station named for the host.

So it’s no surprise that Colbert would encourage speculation about a run for the Senate seat.

But it appears he has met his match in Haley. On her official Facebook page this afternoon, she posted a document containing the results of a tongue-in-cheek background check on Colbert and indicating that he didn’t make the cut for the Senate seat.

“Mr. Colbert, clearly a whole lot of people felt you needed a second look for U.S. Senate, and because I believe in doing my full due diligence,” she wrote. “This is what our vetting process came back with.”

Among other findings, Haley’s research unearthed an interview with NPR’s Terry Gross in which Colbert claimed he would have tried to create a scandal if he had succeeded in getting on the presidential ballot in South Carolina in 2008.

“I would’ve been wonderful. I wanted to like actually go down to South Carolina and like stumble around Columbia, the capital, like pantless with a bottle of Jack Daniels and try to get arrested,” he said in the Oct. 4 interview.

Haley also faulted Colbert for not knowing the South Carolina state amphibian, the spotted salamander, for claiming to represent Iran at a South Carolina trade conference, and for changing the pronunciation of his name to get “cultural elites on my side.”

Iconoclasm is Colbert’s stock-in-trade, but Haley may have beat him at his own game.
Well played, governor.