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Carter said a “celebrity” campaign was different. Now I get it. Working with Clay Aiken is unlike any campaign I’ve seen.
Aiken starts with the most valuable quality a candidate can have today. He is a genuine political outsider in a time when voters are disgusted with politics. And he has near-universal name recognition. He doesn’t have to buy that on TV.
His challenge as a candidate is – or, was – different. Call it the WTF Factor. As in “Clay Aiken for Congress? WTF?” People know who he is, but is he qualified?
Aiken put that to rest in his five-minute announcement video. It has been viewed more than 600,000 times. Then he walked a gauntlet of interviews in the state and national media. When people hear him and talk to him, they realize he knows the district, knows the issues and knows what people are going through.
Now he’s on a roll. People react to him like to no other politician. I saw it last weekend at the College Dems/Young Dems convention and at Lillian’s List this week. The room buzzes when he comes in. People watch him. They take his measure. They want to take pictures with him.
Aiken seizes that moment. He takes their cell phone and snaps a selfie with them. Now, “#selfieswithclay” is a thing.
All this explains why he has a 20-point lead in the Democratic primary. And why the DCCC has put this race on the radar. And why Renee Ellmers suddenly looks spooked.


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2 comments on “Achin’ for Clay

  1. Anonymous says:

    Being able to make a good presentation for the cameras saying what you’re told will garner support (whether you actually believe what you’re saying or not) doesn’t make someone a good candidate for any political office. I doubt many republicans believe at this point that just because Obama made wonderful speeches and presented himself extremely well when he ran for president believes he’s a good president or has done well for the people of our nation. Aiken has zero experience and only knows what his handlers tell about being a congressman. He’s an actor…a musician. No other credits to him. We’ve had other actors and public icons that became representatives and even one that became a president. There’s a mountain of difference between them and those folks. But, for you, Gary…he’s a democrat first and foremost and he’s also a client. I mean, we couldn’t expect anything here from you other than what you’re posting.

    Ellmers isn’t my favorite politician, I’ve said that a number of times here. But, replacing her with the likes of a Clay Aiken is ludicrous. If he were to be elected, all he’d be is a puppet for the democratic left…absolutely nothing more. We don’t need any more of those folks.

    Yep, Aiken has some name recognition. I disagree with your beliefs that everyone knows who he is. I didn’t follow the TV show where he supposedly became “famous” so I had to look him up when I saw his name. Many…MANY folks will have to do that. And, when they see he’s a great entertainer, you just gotta know they’re gonna scratch their heads wondering WFT (to use your language here) is he doing running for congress in North Carolina.

    If he were to win, it will be a backlash against Ellmers for whatever reason they have and absolutely and totally NOT because he’d make a good congressman.

  2. Anonymous says:

    That spooked look of Renee Elmers has been on her face long before Clay Aiken. Clay may be able to nationalize that district race. If so he gets the bounce from the national Democratic Media.

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