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Commentary: Clay Aiken should be ‘Invisible’ on Congressional ballot

Singer Clay Aiken. Several recent reports indicate Aiken has considered running for office in North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District.  Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Singer Clay Aiken. Several recent reports indicate Aiken has considered running for office in North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District.
Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Clay Aiken’s next performance — not a musical one, I might add — might be in a congressional office.

According to several recent reports, Aiken has considered running for office in North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Reports indicate the 2003 American Idol runner-up has been working with political strategist Betsy Conti, who has also been employed by former Democratic Vice President Al Gore and former Democratic North Carolina Gov. Bev Purdue.

As much as I love Aiken and his songs “Invisible” and “A Thousand Days,” I think it’s best that he stays invisible in regards to the game of politics. As an openly gay music star, I think Aiken is a great representative and spokesperson for LGBT rights. For example, he spoke at a 2010 briefing on behalf of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, an organization dedicated to improving safety in schools for LGBT students against bullying and discrimination in Capital Hill. His appearance and the briefing were in support of laws for the ratification of anti-bullying legislation that helps LGBT students.

He has a lot of other social and activist experience, having co-founded the National Inclusion Project, which helps foster the inclusion of children with disabilities in social activities with non-disabled children, according to the foundation’s website. But other than Aiken’s work in LGBT activism, his social activism for kids and his ambassador status for UNICEF, I’m just not sure what his platforms are when it comes to other issues in politics.

For example, I’m not sure how he feels out about health care. I don’t know if he is in favor of requiring all Americans to have mandatory health insurance. I don’t know what his plans are as to how to help fix the economy and to help lower the national unemployment rate. I don’t know how he feels about war. I don’t know if he’s an isolationist or whether he prefers having less or more troops in the Middle East. I don’t know how he feels about pollution or vehicle emission testing. I don’t know anything about his stances on immigration.

In other words, there’s just not a lot out there about him from a political standpoint.

Politically speaking, if anyone plans to be a federal representative, he or she should be knowledgable in all issues facing the country. They should have political experience working for constituents, interacting with think tanks and talking to majority and minority groups.

Compared to seasoned representatives, Aiken lacks experience in interacting with and reaching out to the American people aside from his music.

Because of his lack of political experience, Aiken’s next move from a musical star to a congressional position might not be the wisest choice. Aiken instead reminds me of a long list of other celebrities who tried to take their places in political office, such as sitcom star Roseanne Barr, who ran in the 2012 Presidential Election, and Gary Coleman who had run for governor of California in 2003.

As much as I love Aiken, I hope he plans on sticking to his status as a musical celebrity instead of a political one. He didn’t win “American Idol,” and he wouldn’t win in an election.



  1. How much do you usually know about people who have not yet declared? How much do you know about the woman currently in that seat? Unfortunately I know too much about her, but that is another story. How much do you know about Crisco’s views on health care – no cheating by looking them up.

    With all candidates, we learn about them as they run if we pay attention. Most people I know don’t really know who they are voting for and what those candidates believe, just to which party they are affiliated.

    I say don’t judge before you know more. Can’t hurt to wait for more information to form an opinion

  2. Excellent comment Sadie. All I can say is to have an open mind when it comes to Clay Aiken. Clay has said for years that he wanted to use his voice and his celebrity for something other than singing. He always wanted to make a difference and would not be as some might imagine – a one issue candidate.

    He is educated and although a Democrat, was raised in a Conservative home which can be a plus in understanding an opponent. Although I don’t agree with Clay’s politics, I have to admire him for his bravery in entering what will be an uphill battle for him in more ways than one. The fact that he could even consider such a challenge in running for Congress knowing in advance all the obstacles that will be thrown his way says a lot about his character. He’s a nice guy and I wish him the very best. Congress needs his youth, his passion and his honesty.

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