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#66: "I'm Clay Aiken, and I Approved This Message!"


merrieeee
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Everything that happened today -- soooooo coool! Lots of great pictures, and Clay boogieing down! Love the comic as well.

merrieeee I agree -- over the course of 11 years, we've never seen Clay this relaxed in front of people, IMO. To me, that means he's a happy camper. Yes, I miss the entertainer, but I love his smarts so much, and I just want him happy. Good for him.

Plus jmh made it to the boards! Woohoo!! And with information about the Indy Week recommendation!

Today has been good.

ETA: the clip is now in the CV vault, which means it should be at the CH soon. Clay's singing "Boogie Wonderland."

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Literature handed out at the forum today. I'm pretty sure we should have a couple of red reports here, as I think jmh and Fear are attending.

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From Facebook, the April Smith for Judge page:

Look who stop by to show me some support and encouragement!! Thanks Clay! Yes he is wearing an April Smith for Judge button.#selfiephoto

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From Twitter:

Forward Americans ‏@ForwardAmerican 1m

Great to see these twin sisters in #nc02 have the opportunity to meet & speak w/ ClayForNC @clayaiken today! #ncpol pic.twitter.com/IXKdhoid8X

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From CV, used with permission:

The forum tonight was held at a high school and, like most high schools, had a maze of parking lots, bus loops, one ways etc. It also had a bunch of buildings. We just drove around looking for cars! Once we started spotting campaigns signs we decided we were in the right place. So, stopped at a Stop sign, deciding where to park, I look up and there's Clay and Faye and some others walking right toward us. We froze like deer in the headlights and didn't drive into the parking lot until they went into the building! The power of the Aiken.

Walked into the building and were greeted by Crisco! Friend is more polite than I am, she stopped to talk and I sailed on. There were tables of literature for all the Congressional candidates (3 from District 2 and 3 from District 13) and odds and ends of other Democrats who would be running in the fall glad-handing. We signed in and entered the auditorium. As someone had said, there were copies of Indy Week on most of the seats in the first few rows and then scattered around the remaining seats.C

Lighting was horrible. They were keeping the lights low so the candidates could see the audience, but result was that the audience couldn't see the candidates very well.

Brief synopsis: I'll try to add Clay details later.

Pep talk by Chair of Wake Co. Democrats

Introduction of Congressional candidates, just by name. Clay was first and he tripped going up the steps. Don't know how noticeable it was, but it happened right in front of me.

Candidates were seated at two tables Clay, Crisco, & Toni at one, the 13th District folks at the other.

Candidates gave 5 min. spiels. Clay was first and in spite of talking a mile a minute, he barely got past the founding of the Project before he ran out of time. If fact, he asked the moderator if that was the 5-min. or the 3-min section. He was surprised that he had taken 5 min. Clay time sense strikes again.

Crisco was surprisingly good, but Toni Morris was the one who surprised me most. There's a lot of substance there and I really liked a lot of the things she was saying and her personality.

Then on to answers to audience questions.

Each person had 3 minutes I didn't write down any answers except Clay's and I don't remember much, after all, it was at least two hours ago.

1st question - ACA - Clay gave the usual tweaking needed, but he tightened it up and emphasized that Dems need to talk about the good stuff. Again ran out of time and said, soto voce, I think your time is going faster for me (NOT seriously, just jokingly and people laughed)

2nd Education - "We all know people become teachers to get rich" It took a minute for people to get it and start laughing. He went on with how Federal gov't could provide incentives. Stop over-testing and let teachers be creative.

3rd Rene Ellmers made a statement that coal ash wasn't toxic. What's your response. Clay - I've got a glass of water from the Dan River for her.

4th Immigration - Clay positive on Dream Act, path to citizenship answer tighter - needs cooperation from Reps.

5th Economy & sum up - they only had 30 secs, so it was just a quick platitude for all of them and a "Vote for Me, I'm best" All except Clay. He just couldn't say "vote for me, I'm better" Too much of a gentleman.

Some random thoughts and observations. These are all mine. Please, others who were there, feel free to disagree.

Clay looked great, somber in a black suit, but great. He did look a bit tired.

He and Toni are obviously quite friendly, big hugs and smiles for both. Crisco, not so much.

Clay, Crisco and Toni had quite a few side remarks to each other during the session.

The answers to the questions showed the most about the candidates. Clay had the tightest and most complete set of responses to all the questions. Toni had some great ones, but got off track on a couple. Crisco had a few good ones, but made some gaffes and lost track a couple of times.

Clay was the only one who injected any humor into his remarks. Clay also had the highest energy level, not just in the speed of his talking, but in his obvious passion for some of the topics - education especially.

For those who didn't get the reference, the Dan River water was an homage to the movie "Erin Brockovich." which Clay explained.

Since these were all Dems., there was a lot of head nodding and some clapping for anyone who made a good point. Clay got his share and more.

Attendance was between 50 and 75 with maybe 15-20 fans. Strictly guesses.

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Too many things to do when I got home. Went with cam552000 who also lives nearby me. It took us 2 hours to get to Cary High. I had the wrong address but we made it with time to spare.

We were chatting away as we went up the stairs to the auditorium. I asked her if she thought we were late. She said no since Clay was walking right next to us. I didn't even see his mom. He shook my hand and asked my name and where I was from. I told him I couldn't vote for him but was supporting him. He said thanks and hurried in the door. I don't know if he had a driver or a security guard but a man was with him and held the door open for Clay and then us. Clay looked amazing. I think he was wearing the suit from the Carter event. It was black or a very dark navy with stitching for stripes. He had on a white shirt with a solid light blue tie. From the back he looked pencil thin. No baggy suit there. I looked down at his shoes which were black with the pointiest toes I 've ever seen. I thought his hair looked great

I was interested to see if there was any interaction between he and Crisco. Clay was as polite as could be. He smiled and joked with Crisco during the forum. After a long introduction from Dan Blue, pointing out those running for office who were there and promoting the Wake County Democrats in a very gracious way. He turned the microphone over to the mayor of Spring Lake who was the moderator of the forum. He explained how each candidate would answer the questions from the audience. He introduced the candidates individually. Clay was first and the others followed.

I won't go into what followed as granan explained it. But Clay talked about how his interest in giving a voice to those who have none. Mr Crisco talked about being a businessman and Ms. Morris talked about her sister's breast cancer and how she evolved into running for office.

Afterwards Clay was once again surounded by women while the other candidates left. I heard people asking about tee shirts and buttons. Someone wearing a Clay shirt and buttons said they will be selling them soon. A woman complained that the Clay for NC signs couldn't be seen from a distance. Again someone said they would be getting new signs this week.

I forgot to mention that the first sevens rows had that indie magazine with the great picture of Clay on

every seat.

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Yay Fear! Glad you were able to find the place, and get there to watch the proceedings! I want a button!

ETA: from the church yesterday:

David Eggleston

Photo shot with our guest Clay Aiken after morning worship at FBC, his mother also was there. Pastor Johnson and the FBC Gospel Choir took us into the "Throne Room" today! Choir sang "Walking in the Light',and"Two Wings" and the sermon "Radical Love" sat the church on FIRE!

Janet Montgomery Thanks Clay for standing up for what's right .

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Fear, I will have to get your pictures later....

New email from Clay:

Dear ***********:

$700,000!

Yes that is the amount my opponent, Keith Crisco has personally spent to buy his seat in Congress. His focus is on a different agenda--a Crisco agenda--that is why he has invested over $700,000 in his own spending to defeat me on May 6th.

I stand for the middle class, for the working class, and for everyone in North Carolina --not my own special interests.

Amy, in this campaign I'm counting on you to help me. Please stand with me and give $3 today. This campaign always has and always will be about you!

Thank you for all of your support!

Clay

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over the course of 11 years, we've never seen Clay this relaxed in front of people, IMO. To me, that means he's a happy camper. Yes, I miss the entertainer, but I love his smarts so much, and I just want him happy. Good for him.

It makes me feel as though we didn't make him feel relaxed...maybe because he didn't understand our fascination or our obessession or whatever you want to call it? I am glad he's found the path that seems to make him happy and relaxed. Sure wish I lived in North Carolina though. I have a sinking feeling that I'll never hear him sing live again. Yes, I'm jealous, I fully admit it. Thanks for posting the clip merrieeee. Sorry to hear about your cat.

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I ready for this voting thing to be over! One minute I'm yes he can win and the next I'm no he can't. All I really hope is that if he does get beat he is not humiliated. If he loses by just a smidgen he can try again.

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Right now, I do think Clay is limiting his singing to those one-off type events like the other day, because he wants to be seriously considered. However, I have a feeling that it's not going to be the last time he ever sings. Obviously, if he wins, he won't be able to tour, but if anyone can figure out how to combine all his loves, Clay will be the one.

I'll never think that we made Clay uncomfortable and that he likes what he is doing now better. Don't think he likes it less either. He is a man of many passions. I do think the fame bothered him more than it does as a politician because I don't think he felt he earned it. He's got a great voice, although I don't think he thinks it's any more special than anyone else's (he's wrong by the way), but singing is natural to him and something he loves to do anyway. I think when something comes easy for us, we tend to downplay it. Plus, even though he has made an impact on so many lives, including mine, I still don't think he gets that. I think of feel like he thinks it's the same as getting thanks and praise for something as common to him as having good manners. He was going to do it anyway so it's weird to get praised for it. I hope that makes sense to someone besides me.

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Granan and I attended another event tonight. I will recap eventually, but wanted to share these pictures ASAP. Rather than zoom in on Clay, I've included the whole view so you can see the other attendees and participants.

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Yay for jmh andGranan! I'm so glad you were able to go hear him speak, and being roving reporters for those of us starving for information.

As for the the conversation here...I think I will just combine luckiest's and justclay's posts and say...that's me. I totally understand what both women are saying, and think his relationship with us is...well, rather complicated. He enjoys us to a point, but also doesn't really understand our obsession. And I also agree that to him, singing is easy, and that's why he's never made that much of it. On the other hand, I think that's why he's really enjoying this political career at the moment -- it's much more of a challenge, and I have a feeling he's never shied away from a challenge.

This is truly nerve wracking in some ways, to be sure. I think he'll do well enough to keep going in this new venture, that's for sure!

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