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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

O’Donnell Would Be Better Served With a Defense Besides ‘That Stuff Doesn’t Matter’



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It is worth noting that my particular bones to pick with Christine O’Donnell are:

1) She’s running around telling voters she won two of three counties in her last Senate race. It’s not true. One county wasn’t even close. It’s not disturbing to see a candidate for office exaggerating how well they did in the past election, but there’s a scale to this. There’s no way she mistakenly believed that she won a county that she actually lost by 10,000 votes or 14 percentage points; she offers this factoid in the hopes than no one will go back and check.

It’s not merely that it’s not true; it’s that it’s easily and quickly disproven. This isn’t merely a lie; it’s a stupid lie.

2) Sure, the radio interview is hostile. But it doesn’t take long for her to mention to the host that she often defends him from the allegation that he’s on the take from Mike Castle. Her campaign suggests that Scott Rasmussen’s polls aren’t to be trusted because the RNC and NRSC got to him. This is a half-step away from full-blown conspiracy theories. When she doesn’t like what somebody’s telling her, she attacks the messenger. Her demonstrated ability to deal with bad news is . . . not reassuring.

3) I am remarkably curious as to how she lived on an income of $5,800 in 2009. If she had additional income, she lied on her financial-disclosure forms and has violated the law. I need a response better than, “Well, Biden did it, too.”

I hear a few “who cares?” responses. Fine, you don’t care. But I do, and I suspect more than a few Delaware voters will care, too. In the end, the primary election will turn on what Delaware Republicans care about.

This isn’t even getting into her former employees beginning a project whose first act is to accuse Mike Castle of being gay; this is what caused Erick Erickson of RedState to head for the exits. Is Erick a bad conservative, too? Do true conservatives shrug their shoulders and avert their eyes when a candidate’s associates pull stunts like this?

I’m also being asked, “Why aren’t you investigating Mike Castle?” What’s to investigate? (Don’t you dare say, “the gay rumors.”) Mike Castle been in elected office of one form or another for about 40 of the past 45 years: deputy state attorney general, the state house of representatives, eight years in the Delaware state senate, four years as lieutenant governor, two terms as governor, and the state’s sole representative in the U.S. House since 1993. Mark Levin calls this living “on the public dole.” By this standard, every lawmaker lives on the public dole, and our hero Ronald Reagan lived on the public dole for 16 years.

Delaware voters know precisely what they think of Mike Castle; most of them have voted for or against him every two years for the past 16 years. Most of them like him. He doesn’t have his lead in the polls because people have been fooled about his record.


Tags: Christine O'Donnell , Mike Castle


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