Can Clay Aiken follow other sucessful celebrity politicians when he runs for congress in North Carolina?
Former American Idol runner up Clay Aiken has announced he is to run for congress in North Carolina in the next election. Whislt Clay’s candidacy may have come as a shock to some he’s not the first celebrity to try and enter the world of politics. Clay might find it useful to take a look at how some of his fellow celebrities have fared when they entered the political sphere, you never know one day we could be seeing President Aiken.
Clay Aiken, a future North Carolina congressman?
Many sniggered when Arnie was given the Republican nomination for the California governorship in 2003 but in an election where other candidates included Different Strokes star Gary Coleman, porn star Mary Carey and Larry Flynt it wasn't that strange. The former bodybuilder came out on top receiving over 48% of the vote and going on to hold the office for eight years. He apparently still has presidential ambitions but has once again resumed his acting career his next move is reprising his Conan the Barbarian role later this year.
Before Schwarzenegger there was another Governor you wouldn't have wanted to mess with, former professional wrestler Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura. Ventura was an ex-Navy Seal who turned to professional wrestling in the mid-70s. After lung problems forced him into retirement in 1984, he became a commentator and even appeared in a few movies. His political career began when he successfully ran for mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. He then won the governorship of Minnesota in 1998 as a Reform Party candidate holding the office for four years.
Dirty Harry himself Clint Eastwood got involved in politics in 1986 when he became mayor of Carmel-by-the-sea, a wealthy small town and artists' community in California. His main political promise was to overturn a law that banned eating ice cream cones in public. Eastwood served one term and still managed to direct and star in Golden Globe winning film Heartbreak Ridge whilst in office.
Another celebrity mayor was no other than Cher’s ex Sonny Bono. The singer entered politics after being frustrated at how hard it was to open a restraint in Palm Springs, California. He went on to become the city's mayor for four years, afterwards he was elected to the House of Representatives. Bono died in 1998 and had copyright bill, the ‘Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act’ named in his memory.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Terminator who became a Governor
Of all the celebrities who have entered politics the most successful was undoubtedly former US president Ronald Reagan. Reagan stared out as a actor appearing in more than 50 films, as well as presenting a number of television shows. He switched to politics in the late 1960s, first becoming Governor of California between 1967 and 1975. However in 1980 he won the Republican presidential nomination and went on to beat the incumbent Jimmy Cater, becoming the 40th President of the United States. Not bad for someone who once co-starred with a chimpanzee called Bonzo.