Clay Aiken's Congressional Run Is Real, And His First Ad Is Spectacular

'American Idol' runner-up officially launches North Carolina bid

Marc Hogan

Clay Aiken's reported run for Congress is actually happening, and the North Carolina Democrat's first campaign commercial is a powerfully emotional one. In the almost five-minute ad (above), the American Idol runner-up recalls his childhood experiences with an abusive father and his time working as a special ed teacher before acknowledging his exceptional rise to fame, portraying himself as a centrist, and criticizing incumbent representative Renee Ellmers. "For most Americans, there are no golden tickets — at least not the kind you see on TV," Aiken says, sitting in the house where he grew up. "More families are struggling today than at any time in our history, and here in North Carolina, we've suffered more than our share of pain." Look, it's a political ad, but by those standards, it looks very, very good. Good enough to carry a district that Mitt Romney won by 15 points? Ask Ruben Studdard. Still, that was from the heart — we felt that right here, dawg.

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