November 6th, 2007
09:49 AM ET
2 years ago

Obama supporters pressed Dems to keep Colbert off ballot

Prominent Obama supporters in South Carolina pressed Democratic party officials to keep Stephen Colbert off the primary ballot.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Two prominent supporters of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign in South Carolina called state Democratic Party officials and urged them to keep funnyman Stephen Colbert's name off the primary ballot, according to party officials and Obama supporters.

The Obama campaign denied any connection to the phone calls.

"Democrats in South Carolina, including supporters of ours, had strong feelings on both sides of the ballot issue, and ultimately it was South Carolina Democrats who made this decision," said Obama's South Carolina communications director Kevin Griffis.

The South Carolina Democratic Party Executive Council voted last week 13-3 to block Colbert's bid for the Democratic primary.

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– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (393 Responses)
  1. James Wick, Jeffersonville, IN

    This story is designed to look bad for Obama. The two people highlighted were not official members of his staff. Also, were these the only people that lobbied for their position? Or were they just the only ones mentioned?

    November 6, 2007 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  2. Greg, Alpena MI

    It just gors to show, no matter the candidate, dirty politics is a reality we all have to suffer.

    November 6, 2007 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  3. don baker

    This better not be true, or Obama has lost my support. Obama had better go public with this. Are the Democrats that afraid of Stephen Colbert?

    November 6, 2007 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  4. RD

    Any one should be allowed to run for president. And if you feel you are the right man for the job why should you care who else runs. Obama does not stand a chance in this election, He does not have experience lacks back bone to take own the tough issues facing our country. John Edwards will be the one for him to fear. John Edwards 08'

    November 6, 2007 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  5. Will, Manassas Virginia

    Obama loses another voter. John Edwards gains another voter.

    November 6, 2007 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  6. Gary B, Winston Salem, NC

    One of the most interesting things to me about the whole situation is that Steven Colbert is making less of a mockery of the democratic process than the "real" candidates. The current candidates only want to perpetuate the rape of the American people to benefit themselves and their special interest groups and this goes for both sides of the aisle. Power and the seeking of power are the drugs that fuel the politician's addiction and like the addict they will say and/or do anything to get power and all at the expense of the American citizen. When are we going to see competent, honest people of integrity running for office? Steven Colbert is only holding the mirror in which the politicos see themselves.

    November 6, 2007 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  7. Paul, St. Petersburg Florida

    "It is not a time for games or to make a mockery of the process."

    I'm sorry, we've already made a mockery of democracy in 2000. Now is the perfect time to continue the mockery of our so-called election process by shining a light on just how messed up our system is. Write him in.

    November 6, 2007 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  8. AGAINST THE WIND

    Yeah, and I bet the Republicans are behind this whole Colbert scam just to cause trouble and get the American voters angry. This whole country is a mess! I am one angry voter!

    November 6, 2007 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  9. Frank tulsa, ok

    What a win for Democracy Obama, the same Democracy that allows you to run in the primary. When the term "viable candidate" is a matter of subjective "opinion" we no longer live in a true democracy. Are they going to give his money back? Doubt it. I'm a Dem and I wouldn't have voted for Colbert but this is complete bull. A shame and a sham.

    November 6, 2007 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  10. Morgan, Waco, TX

    Obama must come out publicly and denounce this action or he has lost any chance to lure my vote... Nation we have been insulted.

    November 6, 2007 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  11. freetobeme, Rochester, PA

    Obviously, if you can't pass muster with "the right people," you can't run for President, and you certainly will never be President. People in this country had better wake up to the unhappy fact that the most powerful leaders of this country are bought and sold. Plain and simple. No wonder our Republic is going to hell in a hand basket.

    November 6, 2007 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  12. Boston Strider, Boston, MA

    Anyone CAN run for president. This was a joke. Read the whole article. Find the Tim Russert interviews. Colbert even said, during the second interview, that he is a Democrat when not "playing the role" of his Conservative pundit show of awesome irony. He doesn't support gay marriage because such a ceremony only exists so heterosexuals can rub it in the face of gays and lesbians. Why else would someone get married unless they can taunt with jest a limited privilege?Please lighten up people. I really hope the citizens of my country are more awaringly capable than all these blogs I yes, sometimes get angry over. But I'm improving, aren't I? If you're actually interested in politics at all, and have been following any of this, especially the debates, then you would know Colbert, as an incredibly smart comic, is not Robin Williams from "Man of the Year". He only wanted to run in South Carolina as its "Native Son" because little by little the code is being explained.

    November 6, 2007 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  13. Cory

    Isn't that a mob (see: Family) tactic? Pressuring to get what you want...

    Another attack on competing candidates in the twig that ones was a towering redwood.

    November 6, 2007 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  14. M.J.S. Clark Elkhorn, NE.

    This country has had a tradition of political satire from before the revolution. I remember Pat Paulsen'n presidential bids, and that nobody seemed too frightened. Why is it that suddenly having a mirror held up to our process is something to be squashed like a bug? I hope that people who are dissatified will consider a write-in, if not for Colbert, then maybe for "none of the above".

    November 6, 2007 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  15. Matt, Dalton GA

    Obama will absolutely not get my vote in the GA primary nor the general election.

    November 6, 2007 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  16. Matt, Rochester NY

    I will say that I don't hold this against Obama. I hold it against the system. I wouldn't vote for Colbert, but it's simply disheartening to know that we fight wars to instill democracy in other countries, when we ourselves are in fact not a democracy. Colbert didn't win, I doubt he ever intended to, but he did prove a point, and I respect it.

    November 6, 2007 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  17. Ann, Dover, NH

    Obama and his campaign should be embarassed that he had his goons pressure officials to remove Colbert from the SC ballot. I thought this was a country where anyone can be president. Are comedians excluded? Come to NH. We'll let anyone run. Live Free or Die!

    November 6, 2007 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  18. Puck, Pittsboro NC

    Unfortunately, though I like Colbert, the notion that änyone can become president" is irrelevant to this situation, and those who repeat that myth are missing the point here entirely.

    They seem to forget that Colbert's "candidacy" was merely a joke. After the last two presidential election cycles, when the slimmest margin of votes made an international impact, you would think people would understand that we cannot play around with something this serious.

    I agree that Colbert might make an interesting president, but perhaps he should have chosen a primary that occurs later in the season, once the primaries become merely academic.

    November 6, 2007 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  19. Jeremy Detroit, MI

    What a nation we live in... our representatives vote to remove VIABLE candidate Colbert off of the ballets, but we have Bush re-elected. I thought this country was a democracy, run by the people? No one ever asked me my opinion, or my neighbor's opinion, or probably yours either, reader. I want to vote for my OWN choice of candidate. I do not want my options filtered by some committee of whom I know nothing about.

    I think what we need for a president is simply a positive diplomat for our great nation. With Bush in office, we have severed so many ties with the rest of the world. Pick up a newspaper in almost any major city; you’ll see that a majority of the world has negative feelings toward us. It didn’t used to be like this. We used to be admired… almost feared because we were so powerful. Now we’re the jerk that stays around at the party that ended hours ago. I think you understand what I’m saying.

    Although it is the President that ultimately has the final say on almost all domestic and world issues, he is surrounded by a team of the most talented individuals in the world. They do all the research, the development, the planning, the forecasting, and the execution. The President simply gets the credit, whether it is successful or not.

    My point is; I would be much more comfortable with a person like Colbert to address our nation’s world interests than I would anyone else right now. Everyone else is too abrasive, too unlikable, and too unviable. And let’s get serious; by the time he’s elected, Bush will have been running this country for 8 years. Can it really get any worse?

    November 6, 2007 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  20. David

    You'd thnk it is a free country. What a shame!!!!

    November 6, 2007 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  21. Chris Myers, Buffalo

    Obama is simply showing that he is just like the rest.

    An individual with no real experience who simply has and will do the same, suck off the taxpayer and business as usual.

    Obama is simply afraid of Colbert as there would be someone who actually answers questions AND has a personality.

    November 6, 2007 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  22. Shari, Knoxville, TN

    How insecure does one's supporters have to be to feel threatened by Stephen Colbert's demographic? Sheesh, have a little confidence in your candidate, people, a take a chill pill.

    November 6, 2007 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  23. Carl Ann Arbor MI

    Just another reason I'm Over Obama

    November 6, 2007 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  24. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Trying to keep competitors off the ballot is becoming a Democratic tradition. The Democratic Party filed multiple lawsuits to keep Ralph Nader off the ballot. The suits had no legal merit, but Nader's tiny organization had to use its resources to respond to lawsuits in a dozen states. This is shameful. The state of South Carolina and Obama engaged in shameful behavior.

    If the voters don't want Colbert, they can reject him at the ballot box. It is not up to a committee of political hacks to decide who we can vote for.

    November 6, 2007 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  25. Chrismery, Sunrise, FL

    I'm agree with everyone in this, I really hoped that Colbert could have been on the ballot and WON, that way it shows all those politicians, that anyone can play by their games. We, the people, who are indeed smarter, choose not to.

    November 6, 2007 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
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