American Idol

Political Hay

Clay Aiken to Run?

By 1.14.14

RALEIGH, N.C. — A sure sign of our adolescent approach to politics in the United States is that wrestlers, stand-up comedians, and reality TV stars can run for office — and win. The latest chapter in the ongoing saga of celebrities-turned-politicians could unfold in North Carolina.

Sources have informed the Washington Blade that Clay Aiken, of American Idol fame, has met with Democratic political operatives to weigh a potential bid for Congress in the Tar Heel State’s 2nd Congressional District, located in the central part of the state near Raleigh.

Aiken exploded onto the reality TV circuit in 2003 when he placed second on American Idol. (As an aside, one must admire the power of reality TV when a second place finish propels one to stardom.) Since his victory, Aiken has released numerous albums and become something of a 21st-century pop culture personality, in that unusual vein of celebrity made possible by reality TV and YouTube.