In response to a question at a candidates’ forum about how her views on human sexuality (expressed more than a decade ago) would affect her conduct as a United States senator, Christine O’Donnell gave a response that was both politically savvy and intriguing:
“I agree with you, it’s personal. When I go to Washington, D.C. the litmus test by which I cast my vote for every piece of legislation that comes across my desk will be whether or not it is constitutional,” she replied.
Since her primary win over nine-term Rep. Mike Castle, O’Donnell has had to deal with past comments as videos of them have surfaced. She used the forum to reintroduce herself to voters, while acknowledging her public image has taken a beating over the last month.
“It’s no secret that there’s been a rather unflattering portrait of me painted these days,” O’Donnell said. “I am fighting two political parties here in Delaware.”
[. . .]
“I was in my twenties and very excited and passionate about my newfound faith. But I can assure you, my faith has matured and when I go to Washington, D.C. it’ll be the Constitution on which I base all of my decisions, not my personal beliefs,” she explained Thursday to cheers.
I suspect this will soothe both consitution-first tea-partiers and wary independents without making it sound as if she is abandoning her principles for political expedience. A tough needle to thread, and deftly done.
Even Chris Coons, also on hand for the forum, gave a mature answer:
“It’s my hope that in the general election campaign, my opponent and I can focus on our policy proposals, on the constructive ideas that we’ve got . . . I don’t think [voters] are particularly interested in statements that either of us made 20 or 30 years ago,” he said in a line that also won applause, including O’Donnell’s.
(Although, as Allahpundit — who brought the story to my attention — remarks: “He’s no dummy. No need to dirty his own hands with that sort of thing; proxies will do it for him.” Alas, he’s probably right.)