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

tom delay/ABC News
The former House Majority Leader is a prominent Republican and conservative firebrand. He was first elected to Congress in 1984, and when Republicans took control of the House, his colleagues elected him Majority Whip, and later Majority Leader. His leadership was characterized by his aggressive "Grow the Vote" method of party discipline, where he never lost a vote, leading the Washington Post to nickname him "The Hammer." He and his wife, Christine, also served as foster parents and founded a community in Texas that serves as a safe, permanent home for abused and neglected children. DeLay is currently president of First Principles LLC, a strategic political consulting firm based in Washington DC and Houston, Texas.

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."

Tom DeLay on Dancing With the Stars: Conservatives Can Have Fun TooPlay

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."

Tom DeLay's Foot Injury Not Severe

His Hollywood debut seemed in jeopardy last week when 62-year-old DeLay tweeted about a foot injury. What turned out to be a pre-stress fracture won't derail his ballroom dreams, but he's still in pain.

"The thing that surprised me the most is all your weight is on your toes. After the third day, I thought my toes were going to fall off," he said. "But I found a cure -- a pedicure. I had my first pedicure, I have to admit."

Add it to the list of surprises coming courtesy of DeLay lately.

Fans and voyeurs alike can expect the unexpected from his turn on "Dancing with the Stars," but Burke promises the pair will steer clear of one suggestive style of dance.

"We're definitely not doing the Lambada," she said. "It's a little inappropriate."