Clay Aiken Before American Idol

Clay Aiken Before American Idol

Clay Aiken Before American Idol

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This may be the very definition of a long shot: Democrat and former “American Idol” contestant Clay Aiken, whose biggest political act to date has been the fight for gay marriage, jumped into the race against a Republican congressman in a tightly held district, in the South no less. .

Clay Aiken Before American Idol

Clay Aiken Before American Idol

Aiken’s campaign, which officially launched Wednesday, has a better chance of being remembered for its celebrity roots than for victory.

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Aiken, however, is trying a new political twist, touting the party’s American military strength, a threaded pitch and a rare tactic for Republicans, much less Democrats: George W. Describes Bush’s type as premature.

In the opening video, Aiken acknowledged that he is a Democrat, but said that after Bush nominated him to the Commission on Children with Special Needs—he taught autistic students before he found musical fame—”That’s when I first realized that our problems were solved. Not just one party or the other, it will require all of us.

In a typically melodramatic tone in Southern politics, he sidestepped Republican Renee Elmers’ budget votes, including a government shutdown that forced concessions in the 2nd District, Ft. brag.

“This is wrong in Washington, that a congressman would go there and vote against the best interests of North Carolina’s military families and the people who depend on the military for their jobs,” Aiken said. “Worse to do it when you know it’s wrong, and to do it because your national party told you to?”

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Elmers spokeswoman Jessica Wood wasted no time playing another kind of culture card, telling the News-Observer in Raleigh that Aiken, who is gay, “is an artist whose political views are more in common with the people of San Francisco than Sanford.”

“Renny best represents the values ​​of the voters in the 2nd District and is focused on fighting for families,” he wrote in an email.

Aiken’s efforts represent a celebrity approach to politics, mixing resources drawn from the world of entertainment with a personality that feels at home under the glare of a face.

Clay Aiken Before American Idol

Republican Sonny Bono had success in Congress with a similar career change, but there were big differences: Bono ran on his business credentials—he was a successful restaurateur—to win a position as mayor of Palm Springs, which gave him some political leverage. . . However, he lost a primary bid for the US Senate before winning a Republican House seat which he held until his death in 1998.

Clay Aiken Running For Congress In North Carolina

Aiken, now 35, is running in a district that also voted heavily Republican in 2008, when President Obama took office in the state. Elmers, a nurse who turned to politics in 2010 during the fight over Obama’s health care plan, easily won re-election in the 2012 presidential contest, surpassing Mitt Romney’s statewide victory.

Usually, celebrities come up with a sophisticated reinvention of themselves. In Aiken’s case, he’s trying to reinvent Elmers as the prototypical member of Congress whose heads turned in the marble halls of the Capitol, a popular punching bag in this age of congressional mayhem.

She made only a brief reference to her “American Idol” days, citing music as something her mother used to calm her after fleeing an abusive husband and her 1-year-old child. He filmed his campaign kick-off video in the mansion that his entertainment salary bought him, but in the house where he and his mother took refuge all those years ago. It was a spare cottage and almost unfinished, the exact opposite of glitz, which was the point.

“If you only knew the part of my story that starts with the golden ticket — something I still find unbelievable — you’d wonder what would qualify me to run,” said Aiken, who continued to provide details. His family’s circumstances were once dire and his job was to teach needy children. “There is no golden ticket for most Americans, at least not the kind you see on TV. More families are struggling today than at any time in our history, and here in North Carolina we’ve suffered more than our share. The pain.”

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Kathleen Decker is a former Los Angeles Times political analyst who has written about the Trump administration and central issues, demographics and personalities in national and state contests. In 2016 he covered his 10th presidential campaign; He also covered seven gubernatorial races and a wide range of US Senate and local elections. He ran The Times’ 2012 presidential campaign. Decker left The Times in 2018. Get ready to walk the halls with former “American Idol” stars Clay Aiken and Reuben Studdard. One-time rivals team up for a new holiday-themed Broadway show.

The musicians, who advanced as finalists on season two of “American Idol” 15 years ago, will co-headline the “First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show,” a limited three-week engagement. A wonderful holiday treat filled with traditional songs and family-friendly sketches.

“Christmas is about family, friends and fun,” Studdard, 40, said in a statement. “Clay and I can’t wait to bring it all together on Broadway this December!”

Clay Aiken Before American Idol

“There are really only two things that can bring me back to the stage after a hiatus of over five years: my friend, Reuben, and Christmas!” Aiken, 39, added: “It’s been 15 years since he beat me on ‘Idol,’ and it’s taken me a decade and a half to lick my wounds. But the holidays are meant to be together, so now she’s older and I’m wiser.” , I can’t think of a better way to celebrate 15 years of friendship than to spend this holiday season together on Broadway.”

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The show will be an exciting return to Broadway for Aiken, who appeared in the 2008 Tony-winning musical “Spamalot.” It marked Studdard’s Broadway debut.

The couple will share the stage for the first time since Studdard defeated Aiken for the “American Idol” title. The singers previously reunited for a special duet on “The View” in 2016.

Although the duo’s rivalry in 2003 excited music fans across the country, they remained friends over the years.

“People are always surprised when they hear we’re still good friends,” Icahn wrote in a special tribute to Studdard on Instagram earlier this month. “The best thing for me coming straight out of ‘American Idol’ is that these friendships have turned into family.”

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“Reuben & Clay’s First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show” begins performances at Broadway’s Imperial Theater on December 7, with an official opening set on December 11 and closing on December 30. National Inclusion Project will benefit. , a non-profit advocacy group for children with disabilities. Tickets are on sale now. Clay Aiken, Democratic candidate for U.S. Representative in North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District, delivers his concession speech in Sanford, N.C., on November 4, 2014, after losing to Republican Renee Elmers.

Clay Aiken is back on TV — but viewers know he’ll lose the show before it even starts.

In 2003; He finished second to Reuben Studdard. He went on to a successful career in music but returned to reality TV and

Clay Aiken Before American Idol

In 2012, where he came second to Arsenio Hall. And in the 2014 congressional elections, Aiken, who ran as a Democrat, came in second to Representative Renee Elmers of North Carolina. This is documented in the race

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The second district congressional race in North Carolina received a lot of media attention last fall, starting with a tight Democratic primary and closer than expected, Aiken won just before the Democrat running against him died. Aiken’s celebrity also fueled interest, as did his unlikelihood as a candidate in a deeply red district: He is an openly gay single father.

In an interview with, Aiken discussed his eccentric run, his distaste for Elmers, and whether he would run for office again.

: Is it painful for you that you appear in the story of your loss and are now promoting?

Clay Aiken: The truth is, when we agreed to let them in, we didn’t know we weren’t going to win. And they weren’t the first to contact us. In the week after I made the announcement, we had three groups contact us asking us to do the same thing. We dismiss them all, but I am not interested in this, I am running and I will not deal with this. [Producer] Jonathan Chin was the fourth person to approach him and he was better prepared, armed with recommendations from people I knew and trusted, and a resume that said he wasn’t going to do anything offensive or trivial. has not been I was still scared but he asked to meet with me. I reluctantly say yes. I didn’t expect the main to be that difficult, but we had some. He made his pitch. I said if they stopped

From ‘american Idol’ To Congress? Clay Aiken Seeks New Golden Ticket

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