Clay Aiken is running for congress in NC — and good for him

So I’m watching Stephen Colbert report on the upcoming midterm congressional elections, about which Democrats are a bit worried, based on the polls and concerns that younger voters, who tend to vote for Democrats, may sit this one out.

And what do I learn? That Clay Aiken is running for Congress, as a Democrat from North Carolina.




Aiken, who is openly-gay and a proud dad, hopes to challenge Republican House Member Renee Ellmers, who ran a campaign ad claiming she would single-handedly stop a mosque from being built near Ground Zero in NYC. Nice lady.

The Democratic primary is May 6, only a few days away.

Below is Aiken’s video announcing his run, followed by Colbert’s take on the midterms, including his take on Aiken.

You know, my first impulse was to chuckle when I heard that Clay Aiken was running, but then I thought – why not? Good for him that he wants to make a difference. As I witnessed during my time on the Hill, there are a lot of bad people and a lot of good people, and they all can make a difference if they’re any good at their job. So it’s better to get the good people there, because we’ve all lived through the bad. And regardless of how bad you think Democrats are, how did you like living in George Bush’s America?

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CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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41 Responses to “Clay Aiken is running for congress in NC — and good for him”

  1. pericles9 says:

    If you’re just reading this, as I am this morning…Clay’s WINNING! Wow!

  2. 4th Turning says:

    Nice tune. Funny. I have this thing going about blue skies-particularly that
    indigo blue after a cold front moves through. Ethereal? Have to remind you
    that that blue and the vibrant emerald green of spring are anti-dread?
    Glad to see you are a reader. Odd coincidence-I live out in the country.
    When they were filming TH’sT, this guy drives in, hopes out of his car and
    says he’s scouting locations for it and wanted to know about the old barn
    adjacent to my property… Never came back and I never saw the movie to
    see what kind of barn he wound up with-always wondered though.
    Crazy how nixon imploded and reagan got the altzheimer’s and the bushes
    just sort of became background noise… Carter on the other hand.
    All that lust for power and extreme wealth business is profoundly strange.
    Something that completely snuck up on me is this libertarian thing. They
    have persistently run candidates over the years which I dismissed as
    their right in a democracy to put their ideas out there. Never once did
    I have reason to suspect their intent was doing away with same should those ideas get a strangle hold on government.
    Hopefully books like Pikkety’s will contradict and negate Ayn Rand (there
    is something extremely evil/sinister running through her bio….
    I doubt I shall ever try to make my way through it but am grateful and
    hopeful that there are noble souls out there trying to hold things together
    for us. I do believe this weather is going to have the last word though.

  3. bpollen says:

    “Blue skies
    Smiling at me
    Nothing but blue skies
    Do I see”

    You pk’d the HELL outta the weather here! Thanx!

    After Nixon, Reagan, and the Bush Dynasty, I’m afraid of how much worse things will get before they change. And will that change give us a
    Robespierre or a Stalin? Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court? (I tell ya, Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” and Heinlein’s “If This Goes On…” scare the hell outta me!)

  4. 4th Turning says:

    Another great day here. Hope my cloud-smashing pk worked where you are?
    If not, I’m drained and you’re on your own! I’m hoping your message gets
    heard by Nov. Sitting it out is not going to advance the cause even if money
    has wrecked the process. Money has always pulled the strings clear back to
    monarchies, poperies, and dynasties. But a lot of good stuff has happened
    if you happen to be a fan of history. History shows over and over things tend
    to fall into place on their own accord when the time is ripe.

  5. bpollen says:

    Money has destroyed our democracy. Now you gamble rather than vote. I am betting that my preferred corrupt candidate is less likely to vote against my interests than his/her corrupt opponent. If you think that the rich just don’t own enough of the country, if you think that separation of church and state is hokum, if you are a bigot, if you think that women have no business making decisions, if you are stockpiling weapons for when the UN invades with Obama’s approval, if you think the poor are poor by choice, if you think that discrimination is hunky-dory and should be codified in our Constitution, you vote Republican. If you are rational and not voting against your own interests and are middle-class, you don’t vote Republickin.

  6. 4th Turning says:

    I am sick and tired of voting against shit. I always had the sense in past
    elections I was voting for something. Am one of those types that spots
    a problem no matter how small or inconsequential seeming and did
    what I could to fix it. Sometimes just a ph. call or dropping by the right
    person’s office or doing it myself. These are iffy times for visionary
    do-gooders. Wonder how much that new spy facility out in utah cost.

  7. bpollen says:

    Don’t know much about Clay, never watched the show, haven’t delved into any details about him, don’t know how he would stack up against a Dem opponent, but he sure as hell would have my vote against ANY Republickin’ candidate! But, alas (?), I don’t live in NC, so I gotta vote against Republickins locally. A vote for Republickins is a vote for Feudalism!

  8. 4th Turning says:

    Stand aside! Sending cloud-smashing thoughts in your direction! Thanks
    for even the half-hearted support for my boy Clay. He is 100x the man of
    any in our shriveled souls tea party govt. right now. It don’t matter if he loses
    he’s already the winner by my measure for making a truly courageous
    statement shaming our party which seems to have gone to the beach
    this weekend…

  9. Bill_Perdue says:

    I read that article and agreed with it but it’s not up to date.

    Occupy and the ILWU fought an important battle together in Oakland and both learned from it.

    There is a second and far more important Battle of Seattle ($15/40 or fight) going on and spreading across the country. As it spreads it’ll help destroy the Democrats and their Republican cousins.

    However, the main point they make about the spread of the radicalization and lessons about the possibility for effective mass action are irrefutable.

  10. bpollen says:

    It wasn’t that grand here, but at least I got a peek at the sun for the first time in a week… Thoughts on a grey day.

  11. 4th Turning says:

    Inbox today:

    Each of these mini-revolts, whether or not successful in realizing immediate objectives, succeeded in transforming the understanding of the world and of the possibilities for action for millions of people. The Battle of Seattle transformed the understanding of globalization. The immigrant rights demonstrations brought millions of people out of the shadows into visibility. The Wisconsin Uprising revealed the mass opposition to dismantling worker rights and the public sector. Occupy Wall Street with its slogan “We are the 99%” put the inequality of wealth and power at the center of the American political conversation and crystallized a new class identity. The Chicago public education movement connected the dots between the needs of teachers as workers, the interests of parents and communities as consumers, and the role of government and business as shapers of social life. All made visible the pervasiveness of discontent and the possibility of collective action.

  12. 4th Turning says:

    A question that could well cause one’s head to explode were it not for such
    a grand spring morning on which to think of my niece’s b-day who happens,
    along with many other talents, to be a real beekeeper.

  13. bpollen says:

    Which George specifically? George Washington, George Harrison, George Lucas, George RR Martin, George Zimmerman, Curious George, George Takei, George H.W. Bush, Georgie Porgie, George Jones, George Michael, George Thorogood, George Clinton, Christopher George, Boy George, George W. Bush?

  14. Bill_Perdue says:

    I don’t agree with people who vote for bigots, racists, union busters, war mongers and those intent on creating a police state.

  15. 4th Turning says:

    My point is George had the same goofy grin but did not appear “evil” at
    least to me. However. However his puppetmasters were evil incarnate
    for the devastation that they were able to set in motion.

  16. 4th Turning says:

    Okay, I’m in. And fortunately in pretty good shape since reading between
    the lines, you are proposing a 26,000 mile marathon?
    Which the curiously juxtapositioned post next door today seems intent
    on completely canceling out-if I’ve read it right?
    In the meantime, try to accept that I’m going to vote for the Clays wherever
    I can find them. Sure, more symbol now than substance but it don’t matter.
    I’m guessing you aren’t from the south? Don’t ask me how it happened
    but the textile, etc. barons somewhere back there succeeded in convincing
    their dollar a day, 6 1/2 days a week, 10-12 hr. day “loyal” white workers that
    unions were spawn of the devil… Belief firm as ever 3 and 4 generations
    later. Michelin-that shit company from colonial Vietnam, came to sc because
    political oligarchs swore on a stack of bibles union would never happen.

  17. Bill_Perdue says:

    Plan A is to build the union left and break with the Democrats and Republicans because they’re bigots, racists, union busters, war mongers and they’re creating a police state. How could anyone vote for that?

  18. 4th Turning says:

    Having read many of your earlier comments, I think I truly get and can
    appreciate where you’re coming from. Your question seems, on its surface
    anyway, to consign us to that catholic limbo for unbaptized babes…
    I had a very brief exchange with nader sometime back there in the 90’s
    before that 2k debacle-he was actually asking my opinion on a tiny matter
    of no consequence. Studying his face close up and in person, I thought I
    could detect a touch of madness about the eyes which seemed only to
    spread as he’s attempted to defend himself post-2k in various interviews?
    I share your distress. But I can’t make out from all you’ve written what
    your Plan B might be in addressing immediate realities on the ground…

  19. The_Fixer says:

    I had the same reaction after seeing that ad. We don’t need more military spending, we need wiser (and I would argue, far less) military spending.

    When we’ve got warehouses full of spare parts for military vehicles and weapons systems that are being phased out, and still ordering more of these same spare parts, then there’s a lot that is wrong in Defense (Offense?) Department. Of course it’s hard to effectively administrate when you have various congresscritters pursuing pork like there’s no tomorrow, and forcing stuff on the Defense Department that they really don’t want or need.

    It also makes it rather difficult to transition from what seems to have become a perpetual wartime economy.

  20. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    My late husband had a big crush on Clay. I was always a little uncomfortable with that. I’m from North Carolina, and when we first met, he gushed over my accent. The Clay thing made me think that it was just my accent that turned him on.

  21. bpollen says:

    He kinda looks to me like an evil Howdy Doody, but even if he is, he’s still a better choice than voting for anybody with an (R) after his name.

  22. Bill_Perdue says:

    The fact that Republicans are right wingers owned by the rich like the Democrats does not mean we should vote for the racist anti-Arab and anti-immigrants, union busters, warmongers and Bill of Rights busters like the Democrats.

    Why on earth would anyone want to vote for war, austerity and against the Bill of Rights by voting for any Democrat or any Republican?

  23. 4th Turning says:

    I spent part of the evening going over renee ellmers voting record after John’s
    posting of Clay and watching a rebroadcast of Colbert’s “interview” with him.
    There are just no words. She got a 0 from the Humane Society? Pope and Koch
    money are buying a country I can bearly recognize anymore. Something is bound
    to break loose maybe sooner than later… But not as long as people think they are
    well-fed on crumbs from billionaires’ tables.

    And not just here…

    One of GWPF’s funders is Tory Party donor Michael Hintze, head of $5bn hedge-fund CQS which operates in the oil finance industry, among other areas. The report claimed that “environmentalism” had come to “permeate school curricula across the UK,” resulting in children being “brainwashed” by climate change activism.

    Walker’s story on the report quoted a spokesman for British education minister Michael Gove, saying that teachers who do not offer a “balanced” view on climate change issues are breaking the law. “There has been concern for a number of years about teachers using the classroom to preach radical ideas,” commented Walker, before throwing in a bone for his former party: “The Thatcher government introduced the National Curriculum in 1988 because some schools spent so much time on ‘trendy’ causes that they had little time left for the basics.”

  24. Bill_Perdue says:

    Thanks for the picture. It invalidates the ridiculous idea that our communities there were defeated and that all LGBT people in Russia have been sent to a gulag or murdered. Our brothers and sisters in Russian LGBT communities are fighting back with the aid of European gay communities and the even more powerful factor – the growth of the left in Russia.

    It may seem that our communities there are fighting a losing battle but it’s the same one we faced after Stonewall and it took decades for gay communities to make even modest gains in the US. Our Russian brothers and sisters are exhibiting the same levels of heroism and tenacity that we demonstrated here during the rise of the christer right and in the first two decades of the plague.

    As for the labor movement here it’s undergoing a rapid radicalization featuring the growth of the labor left which calls for organizing the unorganized, ending the Obama regimes attacks on immigrant and imported workers and breaking with the Democrats, a party run by and or the rich at the expense of workers.

  25. rabblerouzzer says:

    Actually, Ellmers did run a campaign ad dealing with the mosque near Ground Zero in NYC even though she’s in SC. She criticized her then opponent for not taking a public position against the mosque. Probably just tossing red meat to the Muslim-haters in the district, which I suspect are legion. Youtube has it:

  26. 4th Turning says:

    This day ought not end without remembering our friends in far away places or the fact that
    International Workers Day-believe it or not-originated in the u.s.×372.jpeg?width=620&height=-&quality=95

    No single event has influenced the history of labor in Illinois, the United States, and even the world, more than the Chicago Haymarket Affair. It began with a rally on May 4, 1886, but the consequences are still being felt today. Although the rally is included in American history textbooks, very few present the event accurately or point out its significance.

  27. cole3244 says:

    great ad, whether nc is sophisticated enough to realize he is the better candidate is another story.

    i wish him luck, he will need it.

  28. EdA says:

    I’m assuming that Hue-Man was writing tongue-in-cheek. In 1964, George Murphy, like Ronald Rotten formerly a president of the Screen Actors Guild, was elected Senator from California.

    Although Clay Aiken came in only #2 on American Idol, he DID get over 12 million votes nationwide. So we can hope that he can get enough votes first to win the Democratic primary and then the general election.

  29. Zorba says:

    Doh! How could I have forgotten Fred Thompson, Fred Grandy, and especially, Arnold? ;-)

  30. woodroad34 says:

    And don’t forget that dufus Hound Dog, Fred Thompson, or Fred Grandy from the Love Boat

  31. 1strepublic14thstar says:

    I saw the announcement video when it was released. It is about the best one I can recall seeing. I wouldn’t vote for or contribute to a candidate based on one ad. That said, this was about as good as such an ad can be.

  32. Zorba says:

    Ummm…….Ronald Reagan (remember him?). Jesse Ventura. Sonny Bono. Clint Eastwood. Al Franken.
    Just off the top of my head. Many entertainers have run for, and some have won, political office. ;-)

  33. Hue-Man says:

    This must be the first case in history of an entertainer running for political office…I’m sure there are thousands of Claymates who are positive that he’s straight and that he’s merely confused and their granddaughters are entirely suitable to marry him!

  34. Indigo says:

    Well, good! It’s North Carolina after all, and as gay guys go, he passes for a good-old-boy and who knows, maybe he’ll reverse a stereotypical prejudice or two along the way.

  35. BeccaM says:

    Nice ad, but can’t say I’m crazy about his ‘running to the right’ of Rep Ellmers (R) on military spending. I mean, I get it, given the district he can’t exactly argue to close the Fort Bragg. And the points are well-taken: The lower ranks have suffered far, far more from senseless, cruel cuts being made so the massive defense projects budgets need not be cut. But the answer isn’t ‘still more military spending.’

    Cancel the damned F22 massively-overrun project and use that money to restore free phone calls and boost pay so the enlisted don’t have to go on food stamps. But a budget that’s already larger than the next dozen nations combined doesn’t need to be increased even more.

  36. BeccaM says:

    Thanks. Until you posted that, I had no idea who he was.

  37. boots says:

    Geography is obviously not her strong point! Goes to show how valuable teachers are in this world. Oh wait she isn’t from NC. If I lived in the district I would be voting for Aiken. “I need my paycheck” Ellmers needs to go back to where she came from with her surgeon husband. Aiken’s Democratic opponent has factories in Honduras and distribution centers in Mexico. Yet his website gives the apppearance that all of his employees are based in NC. He has also loaned himself $700,000 to date for his campaign but during a meeting this week with seniors quoted a number substantially less. Aiken corrected his figures for him in front of the audience while Crisco sat there looking quite sheepish. We need to get these idiots out of Congress who think they can just buy their seats. Crisco obviously wants to get in there so he can maintain the loopholes for companies that want to relocate offshore at the expense of the taxpayer. Lets keep the jobs at home where they are needed.

  38. PeteWa says:

    Renee Ellmers, who ran a campaign ad claiming she would single-handedly stop a mosque from being built near Ground Zero in NYC.

    Huh. I always thought that NYC stood for New York City, but I guess it’s actually New York, Carolina.
    Learn something new every day!

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