Stephen Colbert's showdown Thursday morning with the Federal Election Commission wasn't much of a showdown at all.
The FEC approved the TV comedian's request to create the Colbert Super PAC, a political action committee dedicated to, well, himself.
Colbert left the theatrics outside the FEC meeting room and seemed serious as the commissioners noted their caution in this case. But for their part, the commissioners played it straight, too.
FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub smiled as Colbert entered the room in front of an audience of more than 30 people from the public and just as many press. They could have treated it as political humor and a parody request, but they didn't, even though that would have been easier, she said.
"There will be other commentators on other shows who feel that the advice we give to you also applies to them," she said.
Colbert celebrated his victory just outside the FEC, where dozens had gathered.
"I, for one, don't think participating in democracy is a joke," he said. Then, of course, he told a joke.
The crowd gathered around him to give him cash (less than $50 so he doesn't have to report who gave it to him!) and to allow him to swipe their credit cards.
HOH gives props to the FEC commissioners, who welcomed the public and kept noting that they've never had this many people come to a meeting before.
"You know, we have other things on the agenda today," Commissioner Donald McGhan said.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, along with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, right, and Annette Tilleman-Dick, left, wife for former Rep. Tom Lanots, D-Calif. Clinton was honored with the Tom Lantos Human Rights Prize during a ceremony last week at the Cannon House Office Building. Previous winners include the Dalai Lama and Elie Wiesel.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.