After more than a decade since he came in second on American Idol, Clay Aiken isn’t much more than a distant memory to the American public, other than a slight resurgence in popularity when he came out as gay in 2008. That is, unless you live in North Carolina, where Clay is currently running for Congress — or if you happened to catch Bill Maher’s show last night.
Bill, always known for his eviscerating take-downs, threw some of his trademark snark in Aiken’s direction due to some of the more questionable things that Clay has done during his campaign. While Maher’s argument hinged on the more political aspects of the race, Bill didn’t miss the opportunity to mock Aiken’s singing career.
“Clay Aiken, who is running in Congress in North Carolina, recently said about the president, ‘I have nothing to do with him, and I can find several areas where I disagree.’ Okay — but come Wednesday Obama will still have a job, while I don’t really know what Clay will be doing — but I assume it will involve a cruise ship and a cover of Copacabana.”
Maher was critical of Aiken’s campaign strategy overall, saying Clay was making grabs for votes that he didn’t really have a shot at in the first place. As Bill noted, North Carolina is a predominantly Republican state.
“Clay was asked if he would like the President of the United States to come campaign for him. He said, ‘I don’t need that. We’re doing well.’ No, you’re not. You are gay in North Carolina. Have you looked around? Half of the state is redneck… which is a huge improvement because it used to be all redneck. That’s the good news! That now there actually is a liberal base in North Carolina that you could have energized, instead of this pipe dream of trying to make the Duck Dynasty type to vote for a guy who has had his eyebrows done.”
— Clay Aiken (@clayaiken) November 1, 2014
The idea that Democrats like Clay are distancing themselves from party ideals in an attempt to attract more conservative voters was one of Bill’s central arguments during the segment. Maher specifically pointed out Aiken’s lukewarm support of gay marriage.
“On gay marriage, Clay said, ‘It’s not really on the radar here, it’s not an issue that affects people in their day-to-day lives.’ Well, it affects some people in their day-to-day lives, like I don’t know… you? And this is why Clay Aiken is definitely going to lose. He’s having trouble getting the Clay Aiken vote.”
Do you agree with Bill Maher about Clay Aiken’s candidacy?
[Image via Flickr, HBO]