In the November issue of Esquire Magazine, there is a featured article about Clay Aiken and his campaign for the House of Representative in District 2 of North Carolina. The 8 page feature is written by Allison Glock and the photos are by Matthew Salacuse.
The print edition of this issue of Esquire has been out for a few weeks, however, today, the entire article was posted on the Esquire website.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to read this article yet, you are missing an excellent opportunity to learn more about Clay and the reasons he decided to run for public office.
It is obvious that Clay felt comfortable talking to Allison and spending a few days with her. Of course, that is not surprising since Allison helped Clay write his New York Times Best Selling book, Learning To Sing: Hearing The Music In Your Life.
Allison caught some exciting events in the few days she was with Clay, but also commented on some difficult times too. She didn’t write a “feel good” article, but presented the good and the not so good things that happen in Clay’s every day life.
On his decision to run for office, Allison says:
…”My decision to run was a slow burn,” Aiken explains, citing the fight over raising teachers’ pay and the newly restrictive voter-ID laws as red flags. “In many ways, I don’t recognize my hometown anymore. But when Renee said she ‘needed’ her paycheck during the government shutdown? Boy, that fired me up!” (While more savvy members of Congress donated their earnings when almost a million federal employees were involuntarily furloughed in 2013, Ellmers took a different route.)
When Aiken discovered that Ellmers last won by 14 points after outspending her opponent 14 to 1 in a district where Republicans hold a 10-point advantage and where Obama lost by 16 points, he saw an opportunity. As soon as he announced his official candidacy, team Ellmers warned voters that Aiken was “a performer whose political views more closely resemble those of San Francisco than Sanford.”
Aiken laughs at the tactic. “Why not just cut to the chase and say ‘He’s a big ol’ homo’?” he asks, slapping his palm on the steering wheel.
Aiken admits if Ellmers weren’t in office, he probably wouldn’t be running. He says there are Republicans he admires, like John McCain and most members of his own family. His younger brother is a former Marine; his cousin owns a local shooting range. Aiken knows his “ain’t a swing district by any stretch,” and his odds, on the outside, appear needle thin.
But he also knows his people. His family has lived in North Carolina for eight generations, as has Aiken for most of his life. And he sees what the political professionals don’t, which is that Ellmers is vulnerable. The Second is a disparate district, encompassing the young tech workers of Cary, the military communities of Fayetteville and Fort Bragg, huge swaths of sleepy country farms, and the odd retirement village filled with rich Republicans from the North. “Look around,” he says, nodding toward the view outside. “These are all small towns. Everybody talks to each other,” he says flatly. “And no matter where you go, you’ll never meet anyone who is excited about Renee Ellmers.” He takes a beat, considers. “Hell, I’m not 100 percent sure she is.”…
I do hope you will take the time to read this excellent article. I think you will find it interesting and, in many ways, surprising. The article is full of emotional events and the real facts about Clay Aiken.
You can read the entire article, CLAY AIKEN DOESN’T SING ANYMORE at ESQUIRE
I would hope that each of you will take a moment and share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Everyone should read this excellent article by Allison Glock and see the photos by Matthew Salacuse.