Here comes 'The Hammer'

August 17, 2009 4:38:55 PM PDT
Former Sugar Land Congressman Tom DeLay danced away from politics after allegations of legal and ethical problems and now he is about to step into a completely different spotlight.[PHOTOS: See the stars who will be dancing this season]

DeLay is one of the most unlikely names ever to be announced as a contestant on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."

DeLay wasn't supposed to speak with us because of restrictions placed on him by the show, but he did graciously. He says he's excited about dusting off his old dancing shoes, and he's not the least bit concerned that he is eleven years older than any other contestant on the show.

Outside his Sugar Land home Monday, we found DeLay walking his dogs.

"I'm excited about this! I really am. I love to dance?all my life," said DeLay.

He grew up in Venezuela and says at one time he was quite the dancer.

"I was the lead dancer in all the folklorico dances, the el pasqueadorea, all that," said DeLay.

He says he hasn't done it though in about 20 years, which is why he was so surprised when producers of "Dancing with the Stars" came calling about three months ago.

When asked about his chance, DeLay replied, "I think they're good."

Some living in DeLay's old district weren't sure what to make of the news.

"I would never expect. I mean, Tom DeLay?" said Bongi Chirimumimba.

Another resident, Stuart Federow, said, "Well, I've never seen him dance, but I bet hell be great."

DeLay tells us he no longer has political ambitions. KTRK's political consultant says participation by an elected official in such a show could derail any they might have.

"We don't expect them to show up on a popular television show, cavorting with people half their age or less. So this was an eyebrow raiser for me," said

The "Hammer" as DeLay came to be known on Capitol Hill for his ability to get votes, says the show will help him show off a side of him that most haven't seen.

"That's copyrighted stuff," said DeLay when we asked him to bust some moves.

Former Congressman Chris Bell, who filed an ethics complaint against DeLay in 2004 alleging abuses of house ethics rules, told us by phone, "I hope he'll work out a number to "Jailhouse Rock."

Bell says this is proof that DeLay has given up on any political comeback.

There is just one criminal charge still pending against DeLay. He was indicted for alleged violation of campaign finance laws.

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