CHARLESTON, SC--Comic Stephen Colbert stumped for "president" at a big rally here Friday, mocking the election system by asking people to vote for Herman Cain in the South Carolina primary Saturday--whose name remains on the ballot even though he dropped his presidential bid.
Colbert, a South Carolina native, appeared with Cain at the College of Charleston, at a rally complete with the school marching band. Colbert "launched" his exploratory bid too late to get on the ballot in South Carolina.
But Colbert had a scheme.
"I want you to vote for Herman Cain because Herman Cain is me," said Colbert.
"He possesses the one thing I don't have, a place on the ballot."
Cain told the crowd he was "not offended" by Colbert appropriating his name--people ought to lighten up, he said, but he did not agree with the scheme.
"I don't want you to waste your vote."
And as we know from Iowa--where 34 votes separated Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney--every vote makes a difference.
Comedy Central called the College of Charleston on Tuesday to ask that Colbert be allowed to hold the rally as part of the school "Bully Pulpit" series featuring presidential primary contenders.