November 6th, 2007
09:49 AM ET
11 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. ES, Sparta, MI

    This is where you are wrong. Only the rich and powerful can run the country. All other minions just follow.

    November 6, 2007 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  2. Wade

    For the record not everyone can be president. There are rules, and apparently Chris from Atlanta doesn't know this. Which leads me to think he/she doesn't know how the political process works. Like the pathetic, dirty, juvenile tricks that are pulled by each and every campaign. Welcome to the REAL WORLD.

    November 6, 2007 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  3. Frank

    Good! We already have a joker and a fool running the country into the ground. Why wasn't he trying to get on the Republican ballot? He could easily beat those clowns.

    November 6, 2007 09:32 am at 9:32 am |

    I thought anyone I America could run for president? They just don't want college student's to vote for him because they need those votes..I'm not voting anymore

    November 6, 2007 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  5. Tony, Philly, PA

    Yep, Obama just lost my vote.

    November 6, 2007 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  6. Hugh Doctorman, Phoenix AZ

    At least the fiction that the American people decide who is a viable candidate has been laid to rest.

    November 6, 2007 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  7. Choctow

    Inez Tenenbaum was a complete boob when working for Richland schools. She is a great argument for the privatization of the public schools.

    November 6, 2007 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  8. J. Anderson Nashville, TN

    Are all the other commenters kidding? People got the joke, but that is not the point. Some people are taking the joke too far and imagining funny speeches and the like while not thinking what could happen in the primaries. Colbert was never going to win and was only running in one state anyway. Momentum is key in primary elections. With South Carolina being an early primary state Obama could have key votes taken away which would give the primary to someone else. The other person would have the momentum and could take other states and win the nomination. What if, please consider, the person that does take the nomination isn't as viable a candidate for the Dems and ends up losing the general election!?

    I realize this is a lot of this are what ifs, by why take the chance? Are young, educated Dems willing to risk four more years of Republicans for a laugh? Let's just think before acting.

    November 6, 2007 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  9. Anonymous

    One of the primary reasons they did not want a person like Colbert to run for president is, while they knew he wasn't a serious candidate who wasn't going to win, what he was doing for the short while he was in the process was shining a huge light on a clearly not-too-very transparent process. His attempt showed that the idea that "anyone can grow up to be president" is a myth and that those "not in the club" will barely be able to make it past the front door of either party.

    Additionally, when was it public knowledge that it cost $2,500 to register to run as a Democrat and $35,000 to run as a Republican. Also, because of his starting the filing/funding process we can see how presidents are really chosen before they are elected, by board and committee. We are also shown how big business meets election funding through individuals contributing via networking in their corporations instead of the corporation itself contributing.

    This, combined w/the thunder he'd be stealing from the other Dem. candidates is why they 86'ed him outright. The bottom line is that he was putting too much light on the elite selectivity and bureaucracy of the process.

    Strike one for America on this...

    November 6, 2007 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  10. Chris Foosman, Carbondale IL

    This just goes to show you how low these Democrats will stoop to keep a good Jesus loving man who thinks with his gut out of their party! Why are they too cowardly to let him in? Do they really hate America this much?

    Its not just Obama's people that are at fault for calling for a crucifixion of values that reminds me of the freeing of Barabas, but the entire Democratic party! FOR SHAME!

    November 6, 2007 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  11. Laura Hubka, IA

    Was this a slow news day? Who gives a darn? Being president is not a joke. Especially right now.
    These people are not staffers. So quit with the slamming of this man. He had nothing to do with it.

    November 6, 2007 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  12. Tricia M Ch'Town PEI

    Those who have a problem with Colbert's quick demise as a Presidential Candidate must be seriously lacking in American Pride.

    Maybe a course in 101 Reality may help these people see the total disrespect for the Constitution this man holds.

    His inane claim for power and wanton lack of respect has served only in further eroding the American image around the world.

    November 6, 2007 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  13. sevens7777 Frisco, Tx

    Simply amazing, there were sixteen amature comedians that were successful in keeping a true American professional comedian off the ballot, and the best one of the bunchat that.

    November 6, 2007 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  14. John Tuscon, AZ

    Let's be clear though – If Colbert was serious, he could run as an independent. What was being denied was not his ability to run for president, but to run for the democratic nomination. Considering that Colbert does not have longstanding ties with the democratic party, this result was highly predictable. The fact that Colbert declined to run as an independent demonstrates his lack of serious presidential aspirations, making the SDC part exec verdict, in terms of their interests, a good decision.

    November 6, 2007 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  15. NW, Wilmington, DE

    Wow, won't be voting for Obama....

    November 6, 2007 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  16. Scott, Atlanta GA

    This is not Obama's campaign, this is two prominent people in South Carolina that happen to be supporters of Obama.

    Thanks again media.

    November 6, 2007 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  17. Bob

    I was inclined to support Obama, now I'm disinclined. I hope he loses more votes countrywide then he would have lost in South Carolina

    November 6, 2007 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. Bob Hembree, Norfolk, VA

    I'm a big fan of Colbert. He's a sharp-witted entertainer and I rarely miss a show. His campaign is all in fun and should not be taken seriously though. I sure Colbert would be the first to agree, the last thing Americans need is another joke in office.

    November 6, 2007 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  19. Phil D., Rochester, NY

    The article says "prominent supporters" of Obama did the dirty work. If other Obama supporters think that sounds too much like Obama STAFFERS did the work, then what does THAT tell you. I think the nation has had enough of "Oh WE didn't do it, some unrelated party did it!" from the current administration (Swiftboat = Exhibit A).

    November 6, 2007 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  20. Tom Meehan, Houston, TX

    Whether these people are Obama staffers or not makes little difference. His campaign just lost another vote.

    November 6, 2007 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  21. columbus, Olivette, MO

    I think CNN has an agenda against the Obama. I mean if you are campaigning for Hillary just come out in the open instead of resorting to such tactics aimed at casting the Obama campaign as playing dirty politics. Good journalism comes with some responsibility. I don't know why CNN hates Obama so much!

    November 6, 2007 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  22. John P, Long Valley, NJ

    This is just another example of the politico-industrial complex squashing the fervent aspirations of the comedic-light industrial complex. It's a battle of the jokes. The Presidential campaigns need to protect their high-stakes joke on the American Public, so like any good business, they kill competition, or buy it out.

    November 6, 2007 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  23. Bill O., Gloucester, Ma

    The argument that Colbert would have made a mockery of the political process is unfair. The rest of the candidates are already doing it as well as he could!

    November 6, 2007 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  24. Derek, Rockingham County, VA

    "It is a time for change!" Hasn't this been the mantra for the Dems? What is changing? I think B.O. was afraid that Colbert would do better on the primary ballot than he did on SNL.

    November 6, 2007 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  25. Jim Topeka, Kansas

    This is America, he met the requirements as outlined in the Constitution to be President. He registered to be on the ballot. No where in the American Constitution does it say a bunch of never bes can decide who can and can not run.

    Write Colbert in, make Obama's day.

    I know if my legislature here in Kansas would give the people of Kansas a voice by holding a primary, I sure as heck would.

    November 6, 2007 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
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