My friend and former American Idol contestant Clay Aiken is running for congress.
As a Democrat, Aiken is hoping to be a voice for the people of North Carolina.
“I’m not a politician. I don’t ever want to be one, but I do want to help bring back — at least to my corner of North Carolina — the idea someone can go to Washington to represent all the people, whether they voted for you or not,” Aiken stated in his “Open Door” video.
According to USA Today.com, Aiken is “aiming to take on Rep. Renee Ellmers, chairwoman of the Republican Women’s Policy Committee, who won a seat long held by a Democrat in 2010.”
But Ellmers doesn’t seem to be too worried. In a recent radio interview, Ellmers dismissed Aiken’s candidacy by noting, “As we know, he doesn’t always fare that well. He was runner-up.”
I had mixed emotions when I heard Clay was running. First, amusement. I knew Clay when he was pants-ing fellow contestants and kissing me on the lips to make the media crazy (oh how young and naive was I…) I knew Clay when he was still finding himself, finding his own voice, and learning what he stood for. I think that was one of the things American Idol did for all of us-it forced us inward, to reflect on our own personal values and beliefs and decide who we were going to be.
My second thought, perhaps surprisingly, was that I was NOT surprised. Clay has always been extremely smart. He is well-spoken. He is charismatic (obviously) and quick on his feet. He is very knowledgable and very savvy, especially when it comes to politics. Which takes me back to being amused, as Clay so suavely stated that he is “not a politician.” Whatever that means, I disagree.
Aiken wouldn’t be the first star-turned-politician: actor/professional body builder Arnold Schwarzenegger served as Republican governor of California, and actor Ronald Reagan was a hugely popular Republican president.
But are the Democrats of North Carolina ready for a former reality star contestant to represent their voice with his “voice?”
We shall see.