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Tom DeLay's second act is dancing

By Dave Cook / August 18, 2009



Tom DeLay offers living proof that F. Scott Fitzgerald was wrong to argue there are no second acts in American life.

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As “Dancing With the Stars” fans surely have heard by now, the former House majority leader will be a contestant on the ABC program’s Sept. 21 season première. Mr. DeLay left Congress after resigning as majority leader in 2005 when a Texas grand jury indicted him on campaign finance-related charges.

"The Hammer" dances

The politician formerly known as “the Hammer” for his political toughness appeared Tuesday on ABC’s "Good Morning America" to say he had dancing in his blood and “jumped at the chance” to join the cast. “I love dancing,” DeLay said. He sent a message to his Twitter followers noting that he was the oldest “contestant by 11 years. Have to go after that #AARP vote.”

As Lisa de Moraes noted in her Washington Post column, in the past DeLay has limited his participation in "Dancing With the Stars" to commenting on the morals of some participants.

In 2006, when talk-show host Jerry Springer was slated to compete on the program against country singer Sara Evans, DeLay sent an e-mail to “Dancing” fans asking them to vote for Ms. Evans. She “represents good American values in the media,” DeLay said, branding Springer as an “ultra-liberal talk show host.” DeLay added that “we need to send a message to Hollywood and the media that smut has no place on television.” As Ms. de Moraes reported, Evans subsequently quit the show to file for divorce from her husband, who allegedly had cheated on her.

Evidently, DeLay’s family is behind his new dancing career. Emily Miller, a Politics Daily contributor who had been DeLay’s communications director on Capitol Hill, talked Monday to his wife, Christine. "Tommy is so excited, and he's been working out to get in shape for the show before rehearsals even start," Mrs. DeLay told Ms. Miller. DeLay’s daughter Dani DeLay Ferro said her father had lost 12 pounds from a new exercise regimen.

DeLay is embracing his inner dancer. “This is going to be so fun and so crazy,” he told "Good Morning America." The headline on DeLay’s website now reads "Dancing With DeLay.”

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