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

Comedy Central Host Stephen Colbert met his match in Gov. Nikki Haley when she vetted him for Senate and published her findings.

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.


Written By

Hope Hodge first covered military issues for the Daily News of Jacksonville, N.C., where her beat included the sprawling Marine Corps base, Camp Lejeune. During her two years at the paper, she received investigative reporting awards for exposing a former Marine who was using faked military awards to embezzle disability pay from the government and for breaking news about the popularity of the designer drug Spice in the ranks. Her work has also appeared in The American Spectator, New York Sun, WORLD Magazine, and The Washington Post. Hodge was born near Boston, Mass., where she grew up as a lover of Revolutionary War history and fall foliage. She also discovered a love of politics and policy as a grassroots volunteer and activist on Beacon Hill. She graduated in 2009 with a degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from The King's College in New York City, where she served as editor-in-chief of her school newspaper and worked as a teaching assistant when not freelancing or using student discounts to see Broadway shows. Hope???s email is