Dancing with Tom DeLay

The former House majority leader heads to reality television

Published August 17, 2009 2:45PM (EDT)

Not long ago, Tom DeLay was one of the most powerful men in Congress, if not the whole United States. As House majority leader, he ruled with an iron fist, and established the kind of party discipline today's congressional leadership can only dream of -- at least, until he was indicted.

Now, DeLay's going to be back in the spotlight, albeit one of an entirely different sort. He'll be on the next season of the "celebrity" reality show "Dancing With the Stars," along with fellow luminaries like Donny Osmond, Kelly Osbourne, Melissa Joan Hart and Michael Irvin.

The show's executive producer, Conrad Green, told Entertainment Weekly, "We usually throw a few Hail Marys every season to people we don’t think are gonna say yes, but we think, oh, why not ask him. Occasionally, they come off. As it turns out, Tom DeLay likes to do a bit of the Two Step, he likes dancing with his wife. His daughter is a country dancing champion, I believe .... Now I don’t know whether that translates into him being the next Mario Lopez on the dance floor, but I think he’s gonna come into it with a big smile on his face and probably surprise a lot of people cause he’s gonna embrace it so much.”

Even if DeLay turns out to be the world's best dancer, going from House majority leader to being compared -- not in a wholly favorable way -- to someone best known for starring in "Saved By the Bell" is not exactly the dream career trajectory for most politicians.

(Hat-tip to Michael Scherer.)

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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