Clay Aiken learned how to win over voters when he came in second place on "American Idol" in 2003, but he's clearly hoping for an even better showing now that he's running for Congress in North Carolina.
As he told NBC's Kelly O'Donnell Friday, he knows that being taken seriously is an issue for him. "I think that's a challenge for me," he said.
And as one potential state voter told O'Donnell, "he might not have the gravitas" to get elected.
"We are all just waiting for obscurity," said Aiken. "While I've got this microphone and this stage and this platform, I want to do something with it that matters."
Aiken's website shows his position on various topics, including minimum wage, equal pay, military veterans and farmers. But he's running for the Democratic slot in the 2nd Congressional District against two other party candidates, and if he moves forward, will have to try and unseat a Republican incumbent.
Aiken's personality and charisma, plus his advocacy for special-needs children, play in his favor. But he is running in a conservative district, and the 35-year-old, openly gay single dad may have some preconceptions to battle.
He's not too worried about that, though. "It's not an issue for me," he said. "It is not an issue for most people who I speak with in this district."
So is he done taking the stage to share his voice? Possibly, though Aiken would only say, "Listen, I sing at home all the time."