Some of you may recall that the NYT Magazine did a pretty fair piece on the famed Liberty U debate team earlier this year.
O’Donnell talked a good deal of politics, including about his assistance to the Bush-Cheney ‘04 effort.
He said this about what he looks for in a candidate:
O’Donnell wouldn’t mind working for Democratic candidates who share his values. (He has a signed photo of Zell Miller in his office.) On the other hand, there are some Republican clients he wouldn’t take. “It would be very hard for me to work with a pro-choice candidate like Rudy Giuliani,” he told me. “Or someone lukewarm on the war in Iraq, like Chuck Hagel. I believe in a preemptive strategy, in fighting over there and not over here. I don’t want to be just a hired gun. I have an agenda. I’m an ideologue.”
A Christian ideologue?
“Absolutely. But would I work for a candidate who isn’t a Christian, somebody with the same core principles as mine? Sure. Mitt Romney, for example; he’s a Mormon, but our beliefs are similar. I’d work for an atheist if he shared my values.”
What about Lynchburg’s most famous son? Would O’Donnell work for Thomas Jefferson?
O’Donnell laughed. “With his skills, I doubt he’d need a debate coach. And we’d probably have our ideological differences. But sure, I’d relish working for Thomas Jefferson. He was a patriot.”