- 2014 Watch May 7
With more than 99 percent of the vote counted from Tuesday's primary elections in North Carolina, singer Clay Aiken holds a 369-vote lead over a Democratic rival who outspent him three-to-one and pounded him with attack ads. Aiken and Keith Crisco, a wealthy, moderate former state commerce secretary, are vying to compete against two-term incumbent Rep. Renee Ellmers (R) in a conservative, Fayetteville-centered district that gave Mitt Romney 58 percent of its vote in 2012.
So if Aiken, 35, beats Crisco, 71, he has a steep climb to the U.S. House. But hardly an impossible one. Aiken, who rose to fame in American Idol's heyday, is a natural campaigner, reports The Charlotte News & Observer, and "his ability to articulate issues quickly proved his candidacy wasn’t a whim by an entertainer looking for something interesting to do." Besides, not only have celebrities done pretty well in politics — Al Franken, Fred Thompson, and Ronald Reagan, to name a few — but the reality TV era already has its own (tiny) congressional caucus: Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), alumnus of MTV's Real World and Road Rules.- -
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Watch out, China — America is working on dogfighting drones
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- The troubling persistence of eugenicist thought in modern America
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover revealed the worst of both shows
- Why the Chinese military is only a paper dragon
- Why America won't have enough money to battle ISIS
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Libertarianism's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea
- 11 facts yü should know about the umlaut
Subscribe to the Week