Clay Aiken's Primary Opponent Dies Suddenly; Terrible Headline Ensues

While the votes in the Democratic primary for North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District were still being examined yesterday to determine whether a runoff would be necessary, the as-of-then second-place candidate, former state Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco,died in a fall at his home in Asheboro. The likely winner of the primary, former American Idol winner runner up* clay Aiken, issued a respectful statement saying he was "stunned and saddened" by the news, and praising Crisco's basic decency:

No matter how high he rose -- to Harvard, to the White House and to the Governor’s Cabinet -- he never forgot where he came from. He was a gentleman, a good and honorable man and an extraordinary public servant. I was honored to know him. I am suspending all campaign activities as we pray for his family and friends.

And at Mediaite, Noah Rothman wrote a piece with the supremely classy headline, "Clay Aiken Just Won the Democratic Primary… Because His Opponent Died."**

Didja get some pageviews guys? Well that's worth it then!

With only 369 votes separating them, Crisco had reportedly decided to concede the primary to Aiken today, according to friend and political consultant Brad Crone, who had phoned Crisco earlier Monday. Not terribly long after they spoke, Crisco tripped over a rug on his porch, then fell backward, hitting his head on the brick steps.

Crisco and Crone had discussed the current vote totals Monday, and Crisco had decided that it was unlikely that Aiken would end up with less than 40% of the vote -- the threshold to trigger a runoff. North Carolina election laws also allow a candidate to request a recount if there's less than 1 percentage point between the totals; Aiken's lead was a bit more than that, although the state was still finalizing its canvass. (In the unlikely event that the final count today shows Crisco had more votes, then instead of a recount, the district's Democratic party would nominate a replacement candidate.)

Crisco grew up in nowhere, North Carolina, but eventually got an MBA at Harvard, which gives us this sweet memorial anecdote, from the LA Times:

Crisco told a Greensboro, N.C., newspaper that after a Harvard dean told him no one at Harvard had heard of his college, tiny Pfeiffer University in North Carolina, Crisco replied, "Dean, many people at Pfeiffer have never heard of Harvard."

Shades of John Anderson's 1980 almost-slogan, "He's never heard of you, either."

As of press time, Alex Jones and have not yet labeled Crisco's death part of a nefarious conspiracy. We'll keep an eye out for that.

* Update/Correction: Yr Dok Zoom's very own sweetheart texted to remind him that Clay Aiken was the runner up on American Idol, not the winner, and man is our virtual face red. Wonkette regrets the error and the loss of trivia cred.

**NYT media columnist David Carr was once VERY UPSET with your humble mommyblog for being insensitive about the death of reporter Michael Hastings, who we said was "playing fetch with all the good dogs in heaven." We still think that was a really nice way of putting it, but maybe we are not very practiced at "nice."

[LAT / Courier-Tribune / Mediaite]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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