Atlantic Monthly senior editor Joshua Green is bravely offering to be Stephen Colbert‘s campaign manager:
The real threat to the rest of the field is the possibility that Colbert might win a delegate or two (and show up at one or both of the national conventions). Doing so won’t be easy. Republican delegates are awarded in each of the state’s six congressional districts on a winner-take-all basis, with additional delegates given to the overall state winner. So Colbert would have to crack 50 percent in at least one congressional district.
The Democratic primary offers an easier path. You only have to get 15 percent of the vote in a congressional district to qualify for delegates. For Colbert to have a chance at landing a delegate, he’ll need a campaign manager and a clever strategy. I wouldn’t want Colbert to have to settle for Bob Shrum – and I think my editors would permit me a leave of absence – so with help from Scott Huffmon, a hip and highly indulgent political science professor from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, here is a double-barrel Colbert campaign plan.
In the Republican primary, Colbert should focus on the First District, which stretches along the coast from Colbert’s hometown of Charleston up to Myrtle Beach. Besides being most likely to respond to the “native son” gambit, the heavily conservative district’s voters tend to be upscale economic conservatives rather than social conservatives (Colbert’s appeal is stronger with the first group). The district also encompasses plenty of colleges and universities, including the Citadel, where Colbert’s “patriotism” might yield votes, provided no one spots the scare quotes. The district also has a pronounced weakness for political gimmicks. Its congressman, Republican Henry Brown, got elected in 2000 after distributing 20,000 “Oh Henry!” candy bars to boost name recognition.
You hear that, Stephen? Better get those novelty Colbert Report candy bars manufactured (or get ready to give away some Ben & Jerry’s).