Ever since liberal comedian Stephen Colbert’s sister, Elizabeth Colbert Busch announced her candidacy for to fill the vacant First Congressional District in South Carolina, the media has been on overdrive pushing her candidacy against former Governor Mark Sanford (R-S.C.).
On Tuesday May 7, Sanford recaptured his old House seat, defeating Colbert Busch by a comfortable nine percentage points, and none could be more distraught than her own brother, Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Appearing on his nightly show on May 8, Colbert went on a near 5-minute rant about his sister’s loss. Since her nomination, Mr. Colbert has been using his show as an informal campaign platform for his sister. Off-camera he also pitched in for his sister, going so far has to host several campaign fundraisers for her.
It wasn't a completely humorless rant. Colbert did weave in some funny jokes about his sisters’ loss, but he went off the rails when he carped that how she was treated during the campaign -- by nameless, faceless critics apparently -- “scares me to my core.”
Colbert whined that this was "the first political campaign where I knew and cared about the candidate before they got into politics," adding:
I saw first-hand how her opponents smeared her with outrageous accusations I knew to be untrue. And that has made me wonder if other campaigns have done this as well. I mean, is it possible that John McCain actually doesn’t have an illegitimate black child? And does that mean Meghan McCain is white? I don't know what to believe anymore.
Whatever your thoughts are regarding Sanford’s past, that doesn’t excuse Colbert’s blatant use of his television show to push his sister's failed campaign. Sanford won the election by more than 10,000 votes which apparently “scares” Colbert because his lobbying efforts failed to get his sister elected.
The media, including Colbert himself, essentially ran Colbert Busch’s campaign, with the candidate herself rarely making public appearances or giving few interviews.
Gee, maybe that had a role in her loss? Just ask Current TV's Bill Press, a very liberal commentator and vocal Colbert-Busch backer, who summed up the campaign perfectly on Tuesday:
Mark Sanford had 10 events scheduled and Elizabeth Colbert Busch one. She was going to vote and go home. And I thought to myself, uh-oh. Man when it's that close, when it's that close, you don't kick back. Right. No? No cockiness. No over confidence. And look what happened Mark Sanford beating her handily by 54 to 45. He is on his way back to Congress.
Sadly for Colbert, the will of the people outweighed his liberal efforts to elect his sister, but he showed that even as a comedian he still can be a sore loser by mocking the people of South Carolina for electing someone the media condemned.
See relevant transcript below.
The Colbert Report
May 8, 2013
11:30 p.m. Eastern
STEPHEN COLBERT: Welcome to the report. Good to have you with us. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you ladies and gentleman. I've got to tell you, this, this, this, ladies and gentlemen, tonight right now these people in this room, I don't know where to begin. I don't know where to begin on how to thank these people. Tonight the people in this room are not just an audience. Please, please, sit down. Sit down. I almost can't control them. They're not an audience. They're a movement. And folks, thank you for that opening because I've got to tell you tonight I am angry. And for once that doesn't make me happy. And I think you know why.
NATALIE MORALES: The scandal-tainted former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford won back his old seat in Congress Tuesday. The Republican defeated Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the sister of Stephen Colbert.
COLBERT: My sister lost. How could this happen? I was so sure Lulu had won because CNN called it for Sanford. But the voters -- what can I say -- the voters of South Carolina have spoken. Mark Sanford beat my sister, and I believe that means Mark Sanford is now my sister. And on behalf of my entire family, I want to say we're deeply sorry about him. Now I know how Kevin Manson must have felt. I mean, I feel so betrayed by South Carolina. Well, if they're going to turn their backs on my family, I'm turning my back on them. No, I am.
From now on -- and I never thought I would ever say this I am from North Carolina. No, I have to. I have to! I'm a Tar Heel now whatever the [bleep] that means. And as a North Carolinian, I love our state bird, the cardinal. That's a stupid bird. But it's mine now and I love it as much as our state dog, the plot hound. Jesus, well, whatever. But most shockingly, I will no longer enjoy South Carolina's tangy, savory, juicy and deeply delicious barbecue, made with our unique mustard-based sauce. Now instead I now officially love North Carolina’s sauceless vinegar-based meat product that they call barbecue. Mmmm. I'll tell you what...I'm going to get me some. Okay, here we go. Here we go. For Lulu. Mmm. That is a... I'll tell you what. You know what? I might just leave the rest of that for later. Okay. I can't do it. I can't do it. I love South Carolina too much. And I love my sister. And I'm so proud of her.
But I just don't get it. Where did Lulu go wrong? Did she not campaign hard enough? Did she not raise enough money? Did she hold too few debates against a cardboard Nancy Pelosi? And I've got to tell you this scares me to my core. I'm shaking. This was the first political campaign where I knew and cared about the candidate before they got into politics. I saw first-hand how her opponents smeared her with outrageous accusations I knew to be untrue. And that has made me wonder if other campaigns have done this as well. I mean, is it possible that John McCain actually doesn’t have an illegitimate black child? And does that mean Meghan McCain is white? I don't know what to believe anymore.
And could it be that I have lied about candidates I disagree with like that time I said that Harry Reid is just a leather saddle bag brought to life by a Navajo shaman. I mean it feels true but maybe it's not. I don't know.
Or maybe it had nothing to do with the candidate. After all, the first district is a solidly Republican stronghold. And I know you are supposed to stick with your team no matter what. That's why every football season I put my money on the Baltimore Colts. It is comeback time, Johnny U!
The point is, in politics, it is us versus them. But apparently some of them have the nerve to call them us. How dare them. And, folks, I've always believed in partisanship but now that it's cost my sister a seat in Congress, I have my doubts. After all, partisanship has made it almost impossible for anything to get done in Washington.