Clay Aiken: Future Politician?

BY Diane Anderson-Minshall

May 14 2012 1:09 PM ET

Clay Aiken, the famously gingered gay dad who may just win The Celebrity Apprentice next Sunday, appeared on CBS's Face the Nation Sunday and handled the topic of marriage equality so well that Entertainment Weekly's Adam Vary said he looked "like a polished politician."

Aiken, who dressed like President Obama (complete with pocket square) on a stump speech, was on the long-running political talk show along with Ted Olson, the attorney fighting California’s Proposition 8; Mark McKinnon, a Republican campaign strategist; gay activist Evan Wolfson; and antigay Family Research Council head Tony Perkins.

After years of taking potshots from both Simon Cowell (on American Idol) and Donald Trump (on Apprentice), Aiken, a North Carolina native, was cool as a cuke, Vary said, even when Perkins trotted out arguments about against same-sex marriage saying that churches would be "forced" to recognize them. “When my mother married my stepfather," Aiken said, "she went to a Baptist church and said she had been divorced. They wouldn’t let her get married there. So churches are able to decide who gets married at a church.”

The crooner's appearance was so straightforward (citing polls, calmly explaining national support for marriage equality, never getting fired up at Perkins's ridiculousness) and he "was so well-spoken on Face the Nation," said Vary, that "maybe he could accomplish what Trump’s only teased about doing and make a run for public office. Stranger things have happened!"

If the ClayNation, the moniker Jann Karl of Entertainment Tonight gave to Aiken's many fans, dubbed Claymates — and all the subgroups that have named themselves like Claydawgs (male fans), Claysians (Asian fans), Clayropeans (European fans), and Claynadians (Canadian fans)  — have anything to say about it, someday we could all be saying, "All hail, President Aiken."

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