CNN Columnist: Colbert Would Beat Trump in 2020

Dean Obeidallah: Stephen Colbert Would Crush Trump In 2020

A recent CNN op-ed by SiriusXM host and Daily Beast columnist Dean Obeidallah takes a satirical-yet-sincere look at a Colbert run in 2020. Welcome to full dadaism.

On Friday’s Evening Urgant, the Russian talk show styled after American late night programs, Stephen Colbert planted his tongue deep within his cheek and proclaimed: “I am here to announce that I am considering a run for president in 2020.” Came the punchline: “And I thought it would be better to cut out the middleman and just tell the Russians myself. If anyone would like to work on my campaign in an unofficial capacity, please just let me know.”

Observes Dean Obeidallah, writing for CNN: “Yes, Stephen Colbert was joking, but there’s often truth in jest. And all joking aside, Colbert could be a formidable candidate”.

Are we really considering this? Sure, the guy from The Apprentice is the sitting president. Sure, every day we dive deeper into a surrealist American nightmare. But a race between Stephen Colbert and Donald Trump? Mike Judge couldn’t have written a hotter take on the state of American democracy.

Let’s give Obeidallah a chance to explain his rationale:

Colbert also has a few other key things needed to defeat Donald Trump. People running against him better be able to take a joke — and more importantly, deliver a funny, cutting comeback. Look what happened during the GOP primaries as Donald Trump mocked opponents like Florida Senator Marco Rubio, calling him a “choker,” a “lightweight,” and a “clown.” How did Rubio respond? He made an awkward joke about Donald Trump wetting his pants. Yikes, that was awful. In contrast, Stephen Colbert has shown us for years he has the skills to use comedy to undercut politicians and their arguments.

Another big plus for Colbert is that he’s very effective at using Donald Trump’s weapon of choice, Twitter, to troll him. For example, on Thursday, President Trump tweeted that he didn’t personally record his conversation with former FBI Director James Comey, but added he didn’t know if “tapes” existed. In response, Colbert tweeted a photo of himself in Russia dressed in a trenchcoat looking like a detective: “[email protected] Don’t worry, Mr. President. I’m in Russia. If the ‘tapes’ exist, I’ll bring you back a copy!”

Has the bar really been so lowered? To defeat the incumbent, we require a comedian quick-witted enough to counter-troll him on Twitter. Excellent. If you need me, I’ll be in the garage giving up hope.

Related: Stephen Colbert Appears on Russian TV and Makes a Mind-Blowing Announcement

(Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)

Timothy Bertrand is an author and journalist from Houston, Texas. He is the Associate Editor at Reverb Press and splits his time between covering breaking news and penning thoughtful literary essays.