One day you're a young unknown politically-aware American, and the next you're launched into the national spotlight. People love you. Others hate you. Either way, your name is known in households across the fruited plain.
But soon that brightly-burning star begins to dim a little. You think, "Why not parlay my national prominence into a political run? I can make a difference and serve the public."
Such is the story of Sandra Fluke - the progressive activist-turned media darling after Rush Limbaugh called her a slut for lobbying for taxpayer-funded birth control pills. Fluke has filed with the California Democratic Party as a potential candidate for US House District 33 now that Congressman Henry Waxman is retiring.
Oh yeah - and Clay Aiken is running for Congress, too. His story is pretty similar.
Will the star power be enough to win?
In Fluke's case, it's a safe Democratic district. So, she'll just have to get past a primary and maybe her rockstar status as Rush Limbaugh's target will help her do that.
In Aiken's case, the former American Idol runner-up would likely be taking on incumbent Republican Rep. Renee Elmers - if he wins the Democratic primary. But the media attention he'll draw will undoubtedly help.
Star power notwithstanding, there are larger problems for Democrats in 2014.
A mood of anxiety hangs over President Obama and congressional Democrats as they conduct a series of meetings this week to coordinate their 2014 political and legislative agendas.
While their outlook has improved since last fall, Democrats on Capitol Hill are worried the party is in danger of repeating its disastrous midterm performance of 2010 — and that this time, it could cost them the Senate.
“Let’s face it, not everyone is on the same page,” said one senior Democratic aide.
While the White House and congressional Democrats have sought to present a unified front on raising the minimum wage and extending federal unemployment benefits, divisions over an array of issues including trade, the Keystone XL oil pipeline and how to contain Iran have repeatedly burst to the surface.
That’s made it difficult to calm tempers still hot over the bumbled rollout of ObamaCare.
“Some people are still furious about what went down in [the fall] with healthcare and some of the NSA elements,” said the senior Democratic aide, referring to the National Security Agency.