Politics & Policy

O’Donnell’s Teacher: She Would “Add Intellectual and Philosophical Depth” to Senate

One more clarification about GOP candidate Christine O’Donnell’s past representations of her educational background. In a Battle ‘10 post last week, I had mentioned that the Claremont Institute (full disclosure: I attended a Claremont fellowship program this summer), where O’Donnell attended a fellowship program in 2002, had said that O’Donnell’s resume at the time had included a mention of Oxford University — judged by some to be misleading, since the program she attended was at Oxford, but run by a different group, the Phoenix Institute.  The Talking Points Memo post I had originally referenced has now been updated to include this crucial point: while O’Donnell did put Oxford on the resume she sent to Claremont, she also included the information about the Phoenix Institute and the name of the Phoenix Institute program she attended.

Additionally, one of O’Donnell’s Phoenix Institute teachers, Bruce Griffin, has written a blog post in support of his former student:

Christine O’Donnell was a joy to have in the tutorials: intelligent, engaged, dynamic, good with questions and interested in ideas. Her paper on cloning was one of the two best papers written for me that summer. She successfully completed a rigorous, intellectually demanding course that was the equivalent of a course in the humanities at any graduate school at any university. …

The course we did that summer in Oxford is nearly a decade old, but the basic issues we addressed are eternal. Today, too many of the Republic’s leaders have abandoned the natural law tradition of the Declaration of Independence for a murky moral relativism — a relativism that is both destructive of democratic values and philosophically bankrupt. Christine O’Donnell would bring to the US Senate a deepened commitment to the philosophical convictions of the Founding Fathers at a time when the philosophical bankruptcy of too many leaders is mirrored in the economic bankruptcy of the federal government. She would surely add intellectual and philosophical depth to a Senate that at this point in its history badly needs both.

Katrina TrinkoKatrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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