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Stephen Colbert: Sister Brings Sanity to S.C. Politics

Comedian spends weekend campaigning for Elizabeth Colbert Busch.

Elizabeth Colbert Busch has a personal and professional history that makes her qualified to represent South Carolina's First Congressional District in Washington, D.C.

That's the familiar refrain from her campaign and from her brother, famous comedian Stephen Colbert. But there's another reason to vote for her, Colbert said on Sunday while speaking at the International Longshoremen's Association headquarters in Charleston.

"She is sane," he said. "It shouldn't be a banner headline, but I have interviewed a lot of members of Congress, and unfortunately it is."

Colbert Busch is favored to win the March 19 Democratic primary, and she'll face one of 16 Republicans vying for the seat once held by U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-Charleston.

"This is the craziest state in the whole United States," Colbert said. "We invented political crazy in South Carolina. From John C. Calhoun to the jaw-dropping posibility that my sister's opponent will be the former Governor of the Appalachian Trail Mark Sanford. That's crazy."

The campaign touts Colbert Busch's business chops and her personal story of overcoming adversity. She was a maritime shipping executive before taking a development job with Clemson University, and she raised three children while putting herself through college.

"She's leading development of the Clemson University wind turbine drive train facility," Colbert said. "That was done through private-public partnership ... bringing people together for their mutual benefit. That seems like a sensible thing to do, but if you're paying attention to politics now, it's like splitting the atom."

Colbert Busch's famous name has raised her profile in the race. Though this race is her first of any kind, already two of her opponents have bowed out and endorsed her. A third Democrat, Ben Frasier, remains in the contest, but he's run unsuccessfully several times before.

Colbert's mention of his sister's candidacy on his own show and on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last week has brought interest and campaign donations, her campaign says, but they have not disclosed a fundraising figure.

The energy behind her campaign is encouraging her supporters, though no Democrat has represented the First District in Congress since 1981, and in some years the party hasn't even fielded a candidate.

"It's very exciting," said Charleston County Democratic Party Chairman Richard Hricik. "She's not just some comedian's sister. ... She's a candidate that crosses over in so many places. She's an accomplished woman, she's a lifetime Charlestonian, she's an accomplished businessperson.

"There isn't a segment in this community that can't ... reach her and identify with her."

Patch.com February 25, 2013 at 12:43 AM
Stephen Colbert said she brings sanity to the election, hence his name + the colon before the opinionated statement. Trust me, we've written plenty about Republicans in this election and others. There will be no shortage of similar stories about the players on your team, Ambassador.
MiddleAmericaMS February 25, 2013 at 04:43 AM
Did anyone learn anything from when the Republicans were given control during the Bush years? Does anyone follow the massive historic obstruction the Republicans have done since? :(
reg February 25, 2013 at 06:12 AM
(following from MiddleAmerica's lead) Did anyone learn anything from the past 14 years of GOP control of our state government? Which party has led the state house and senate during this time that we suddenly couldn't afford our teachers or our policemen? When we suddenly had the lowest operating budget since 1992 (which occurred in 2010)? When our state had a GOP governor who admitted using state taxpayer money to pay for his extramarital affair? A state treasurer who was convicted of federal drug felonies? A state GOP Party exec who admitted in a court of law to molesting his stepdaughter? At lt. gov. who was convicted of spending campaign contributions for personal pleasures? Yet the state Republican sympathizers *still* want to blame the Democrats along with anyone else they can point fingers at for everything that's wrong with our government? wake up: the current GOP and its officials are in no way Republican; that party is dead, and is used in name only by a few commies who want to get govt money for themselves.
JoSCh February 25, 2013 at 08:48 PM
lolAmbassador, hysteria AND failure to comprehend what you read. That's a GOTea trifecta!
Lisa Gardner February 25, 2013 at 11:00 PM
Let's not forget the current Rep Guv...who spouted " The women of SC don't care about rape"....when the College of Charleston has one of the highest incidences of rape on any college campus in the US...But, oh...they must be from out of state, so they don't count. I believe the last real Republican president ....was Lincoln.....and they hated him too.

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