It's 'Hammer Time': DeLay Ready for 'Dancing' Debut

Former House Majority Leader premieres on "Dancing With the Stars" Monday night.

ByABC News
September 21, 2009, 7:23 AM

Sept. 21, 2009 — -- Tom DeLay is on the ballot again, but this time he's dancing for votes.

The former House Majority Leader makes his "Dancing with the Stars" debut Monday night on ABC, and he plans to bring his political prowess to the ballroom.

"I'm going to whip the votes," DeLay said. "They didn't call me the best whip ever to serve in the House of Representatives for nothing. Cheryl does the dancing. I whip the votes."

Cheryl is two-time "DWTS" champ Cheryl Burke, DeLay's pro partner, who previously won mirrorball trophies with singer Drew Lachey and NFL great Emmitt Smith.

"Everybody knows Cheryl Burke, and I lobbied very hard to get her," DeLay said. "She's a winner."

Burke reports that her student is prepared for prime time, even after a few tense rehearsals.

"He does lose patience sometimes," Burke said. "He gets frustrated. He needs to learn to have fun with the whole process."

Political junkies have had plenty of fun with the idea of DeLay busting a move on national television. After all, the former Republican congressman once known as "The Hammer" has been laying low since his resignation in 2005, amid campaign finance charges.

Fast-forward four years and... surprise! He's the most-anticipated contestant on "Dancing's" latest roster of so-called stars.

According to DeLay, it's a perfectly natural career transition. As he tweeted last month: "Politics is showbiz too."