WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Christine O'Donnell again poised to upend Delaware Republican politics

In recent days, Christine O'Donnell has popped up again in Delaware's political news: Did state tax investigators improperly access her Federal tax records? (Even with regard to this basic question, a spirited debate ensues: Do we have here an example of government overreach, even persecution, and/or is O'Donnell milking this story to get back into the news and to raise some money?)

(And just a few weeks ago, O'Donnell received some national buzz with her appearance - in a white dress - at the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner. That dress was compared to a wedding dress. Some others compared it to the dress worn by the Good Witch of the South.)

Once again, we see the stark divide between O'Donnell's supporters and most everyone else: Her staunch defenders, who view her as the victim of some bipartisan establishment conspiracy (although Delaware Dems would have every reason to WANT her on the ballot as a G.O.P. statewide candidate, presumably again for United States Senator); and her detractors: Republican establishment types, who see her as a drag on the state G.O.P., a liability who makes Delaware a laughing stock; Dems, who see her as emblematic of the "dark" forces which have taken over the Delaware G.O.P.; and other folks, who just question her basic resume and credentials.

Tuesday's NEWS JOURNAL carries a Page One story entitled, "Christine's Choice". As The NEWS JOURNAL notes: "The tea party sensation has yet to announce her plans for next year, causing some Delaware Republicans to wonder if her indecision is keeping other GOP candidates from stepping forward as the campaign draws closer.

So far, no names aside from O'Donnell's have surfaced as possible challengers to Coons..."

A provocative quote from Delaware House G.O.P. leader Dan Short: "She's contributed to the demise of the Republican Party."

Here's the paradox: If I'm addressing an audience far removed from Delaware, for example, in my native Illinois, the names of two Delaware politicians come up: Joe Biden and Christine O'Donnell.

A decade or so ago - talking to an older audience - I'd get heads nodding by referencing Pete DuPont and Bill Roth. Of course, the late Senator Roth's name is immortalized through Roth IRAs.

Posted at 7:04am on July 23, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Tue, Jul 23, 2013 8:26am
It seems that someone in Delaware did access O'Donnell's tax records and fabricate some smears against her to discredit her as a candidate. I think that the person/persons responsible for the IRS leaks should be prosecuted.

But, I SINCERELY hope that O'Donnell never runs again for anything in the state of Delaware...the Tea Party must be able to come up with someone better than her...maybe Glen Urquhart?

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Jul 23, 2013 8:33am
Allan: One correction, Glinda was the Good Witch of the North, not South [Interesting in the story, there were bad witches from the East and West, and the good witch from the North, but no mention of a Southern witch [oh that's where Christine O'Donnell comes in]. She think's she's a "good" witch of the South [which makes sense, as the stronghold for ultra right-wing politics and TEA party stuff is from the South]. So would it be fair to say that Christine O'Donnell is the "Redneck Witch from the South"? heh heh.

On a more serious note: It's difficult to believe the DEMS don't want God in any part of their party platform, because surely their prayers have been answered; nutty Christine "I'm not a witch" O'Donnell is resurfacing again in Delaware to "help" the Delaware G.O.P. lose another Senate race [As I recall, she's lost 3 times running for Senator from Delaware - there should be a three strikes, you're out, and can no longer run for ANY political office in Delaware - Go be a "blessing" to some other state].

Which part of only the most die-hard ultra right-wing nut jobs who are yellow-dog Republicans [who'd rather vote for a yellow-dog than any DEM] would vote for the former "witch" who makes Sarah Palin sound like a Rhodes Scholar?

The Delaware G.O.P. better get its act together this time around, because an incumbent is difficult to unseat as it is; and if Delaware Republicans put up O'Donnell as their best shot of beating Coons, my guess is Chris Coons will win a second term easily, which will make him even more difficult to unseat in a very BLUE Delaware come 2016.

Are you sure O'Donnell isn't really working for the DEMS? Because with friends like her, the G.O.P. sure doesn't need any enemies to destroy the party.

So Delaware will get to be a laughing stock again in the 2014 election? Gee, between Biden and O'Donnell, no one will ever take Delaware seriously in terms of political clout.

In Biden's favor, it's been a while since he's put his foot in his mouth, so maybe he's caught on about just saying the first thing that pops into his head, so there's hope on that front, but Christine........maybe the fourth time is the charm...............NOT. She thinks she's the good witch; she's wrong; she picked the wrong character from the Wizard of Oz, she's the scarecrow BEFORE the visit to the wizard, if she only had a brain.........

Come on Delaware G.O.P.'ers, surely you can come up with a real candidate to run against Chris Coons this time around. The G.O.P. will never retake the Senate in D.C. by putting up such candidates as O'Donnell. Give me a reason to vote for the G.O.P. in the 2014 election; your gal Christine isn't it.

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Jul 23, 2013 8:36am
EarlGrey: Thanks, I forgot about the other part of Allan's post.

Yes, I agree with you, if someone did that to her, YES, that person or persons should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law as they violated the law and her privacy, etc.

She may be a pain in the........neck, but she shouldn't have had her privacy, etc., violated either... totally agree.

Allan Loudell
Tue, Jul 23, 2013 9:21am

The O'Donnell references I saw were to "Good Witch of the South", which comes up in the OZ books, but not the motion picture.

I really believe Ms. O'Donnell and her supporters are sincere. They really have a disdain for the ideology and operating style (i.e, haughtiness) of the upstate "establishment" Republicans (Michele Rollins' candidacy was a textbook example!) and really, really do believe if they can bolster their OWN turn-out - and depress opposition turn-out - they'd really have a chance of winning, even in Delaware.

Of course, it would take a miracle, something like the incumbent Dem being overtaken by the nastiest of scandals.
But sure, to Delaware Dems, Christine O'Donnell must be like manna from heaven.

Allan Loudell

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Jul 23, 2013 10:23am
I read the book as a kid, once, and have watched the movie many, many times and forgot about those differences, good point.

That would take some serious voter turn-out for the DEMs to be very small, as NCC seems to be more blue than red, even Kent County with Dover's growing minority population last election went blue rather than their usual red as in past elections.

But you do make a good point, if nutty Christine runs again, the DEMS could sit back and not sweat it and get surprised and give the U.S. Congress its first former witch as a member. Stranger things have happened.

What could also hurt Christine and the G.O.P. would be the Independent Party candidate [Isn't that where Delaware's TEA folks are migrating to]? That would dilute the conservative/moderate vote thus helping the Del DEMS/Coons.

Tue, Jul 23, 2013 6:55pm
Um....excuse me......but if it's proven that her tax records were illegally violated, it may well be the Democrats she brings down this time around. In fact, if it's proven that Chris Coons as county executive signed off on the tax lien against the property which she no longer owned, she may not have to run against him.

Don't get me wrong. I don't want Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz in the Senate, but if she helps bring down the bad guys, right or left, it's a small price to pay.

Tue, Jul 23, 2013 10:03pm
It's amazing to me what passes for morality these days. While Christine O'Donnell is treated like the wicked witch of the west, nobody cares a thing about Barney's frank or Anthony's weiner.

Tue, Jul 23, 2013 10:11pm
In fairness to Christine, the fact is that she's NOT a former witch. This was a rumor that got started based on the fact that she wrote a term paper on witchcraft when she was in college.

With that said, while she's not a witch, she's not me either.

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Jul 23, 2013 10:54pm
Mrpizza: I remember seeing video's of her TV appearances and she was even stranger then than she is now, and I seem to remember her implying she was a witch [she liked getting attention then and still does], but I'm not totally sure about whether she said that or not, I just don't remember and I'm not interested enough to spend a bunch of time trying to find those videos online somewhere and have to endure listening and watching her to find out.

I don't believe she's an actual witch, but she's all talk, no mind [If from Texas you might say she's all hat and no cattle]. She makes Sarah Palin sound smart, which isn't easy. O'Donnell simply parrots the TEA talking points. I remember her interview with Rick Jensen [one of the few times I listened to his show, mainly so I could hear what she had to say]. What a disappointment. She's just not Senate material. She's paranoid and even with a fellow GOP guy like Rick Jensen she gave a hard time. She has absolutely no people skills at all. She had some big guy along in the studio with her and Rick [I watched the video later WDEL had posted of Rick's show]. Heck I seem to remember her threatening to sue Rick and WDEL for some non-sense that her "fertile mind" imagined. Hey, I don't agree with Jensen's one sided views quite often, BUT Rick strikes me as a decent, honest, honorable person and he sure didn't deserve the crap she was giving out much less any sort of law suit threats.

That brings up a good question, if she were the candidate, would WDEL even want her to come to their studio's since the last time she was at WDEL, she threatened a law suit. If I remember correctly, I believe it was because they video'd the show and she claimed she didn't know the camera was there, yet its clearly visible in Rick's Studio. She may have also had some other "grievances" with Rick and WDEL, I just don't remember.

She likes to dish it out, but doesn't like it if a reporter/talk show host asks any questions she deems to be too hard or not friendly towards her. She wants to control the interviewer and any interviewer worth their salt won't allow that to happen, THEY control the interview, not the guest.

IF the choice ends up being only her and some DEM, probably Coons, I'll vote for Coons again. I don't agree with him on a number of issues, but at least I won't feel like I've sent the village idiot to DC to represent Delaware.

Now what could make that race a bit more interesting is I thought the TEA folks in Delaware were leaving the Del GOP and taking over the Del Independent party. Then there would be a third choice. Depending on who that is, then I might vote for that Independent candidate, even a TEA person IF they are an intelligent person and not just some yahoo or flake, who doesn't know enough to come in out of the rain.

I seem to remember liking Glen Uqurhart [he ran against Carney for Castle's old seat in the House]. I just can't believe the Del GOP or the Del TEA folks would want anything to do with Christine again. Surly there's someone else they can get to run.

Hey, maybe Mike Castle would give it a go [he's in his 70's and just may be enjoying retirement too much to want to go back to all that hassle and crap that is Washington DC and running a campaign, etc]. Wouldn't that be a fine ending to the story though; that Mike Castle had to wait a few years, because of Christine, but ended up getting that Senate seat in 2014 in spite of Christine.

Wed, Jul 24, 2013 2:34am
The reason there's a TEA party, which unfortunately includes candidates like O'Donnell, is because the GOP establishment is too far left and has a "go along to get along" policy with Democrats. Like them or dislike them, the TEA party is in response to something rather than a creation out of thin air. In other words, it's there to fill a vacuum, in this created by a GOP establishment which refuses to look itself in the mirror. After all, it was they who nominated Romney, and you see the result of that.

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Jul 24, 2013 8:21am
Mrpizzza: I believe the reason Romney lost was two fold: [1] He didn't run as the Mitt Romney who had been the successful governor, but as a TEA person who spouted their far right ideology, as people asked is this the real Mitt Romney?, sure is different from the guy the folks in Mass really liked. Even his kids said, their dad's campaign wasn't him, and they should know.

[2] the fundamentalist branch of Christianity, who'd never vote for a DEM, also would never vote for a Mormon, so they sat home [this happened in 2000 where Bush barely won, but they showed up in 2004 where Bush had a far larger lead of a few million - as I recall reading then approx 3 million more Christians voted in 2004 than in 2000]. Had those folks voted in 2012, Mitt would be our Prez right now. So voter turn out makes a difference. Obama's voters turned out, Mitt's didn't. However, if Romney had campaigned as the real Mitt Romney, not being ashamed of his very successful Romneycare [that poll after poll has shown is very popular in the Pilgram state], that probably would have pulled far more female votes his way. Those women's issues that the guy running from PA stirred the pot with, no birth control, no abortion got the female population fired up needlessly so they voted DEM.

The GOP is their own worse enemy. That election was theirs, yet through many missteps and saying dumb things like 47% of the American public are takers, which includes retirees, were why Romney lost the election, in my opinion.

Now a conservative like Rick Perry might be able to pull it off in 2016, as he has done positive things for Hispanics in his state, so he surly can't be labeled as a for white people only type Republican. His common sense approaches don't seem to have the harshness that so much of the other TEA folks spew which frankly is off putting to many people. That was Reagan's secret. He was a conservative, yet he knew how to come across in a friendly way, not some angry hostile way. It's all about selling the message to the GENERAL Pubic [not just the loyal TEA folks], and most TEA folks including Christine and Sarah don't have that ability. Yet Rick Perry has that ability. He just has to work on doing better in debates.

As far as the TEA folks are concerned, they should stop trying to hijack the GOP and go start their own party. THEN they can put up any type of candidate they want and let the political market decide [that's a true TEA value that should try sometime].

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Jul 24, 2013 8:22am
The guy from PA who ran, Rick Santorum [had a brain freeze].

Wed, Jul 24, 2013 8:34am
Mike: I will concede to your opinions on O'Donnell...I saw her speak (along with Carney, Coons and Urquhart) and she was/is not fit for politics...ever.
BUT, I have also heard Palin speak...the lady IS NOT an idiot but her family/character/life were destroyed by this administration/the press/and the Leftists who fear a powerful Republican woman. I have heard Palin is considering a Senate run in Alaska and think she could probably win...of course I would prefer if she went against McCain in his home state (where she also has a house/property) but doubt she will go against him...though the results would be very interesing.

Wed, Jul 24, 2013 8:38am
"...at least I won't feel like I've sent the village idiot to DC to represent Delaware."

Isn't that seat already occupied by the VP from Delaware? ;)

Wed, Jul 24, 2013 9:18am

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Jul 24, 2013 10:43am
EarlGrey: I have viewed VP Biden more as the "court jester", leaving the village idiot position open for O'Donnell - heh heh, but that postion could have more than one person vieing for that "honored" spot from Delaware.

Sad isn't it, Delaware's come a long ways from having real statemen like Ceasar Rodney, John Williams (who was known as the watchdog of the Senate), and of course Bill Roth, for whom the Roth IRA is named. Now Delaware's big time politicians make headlines because they're "entertaining".

No wonder no one takes the Small Wonder very seriously.

Thanks for the link, I read the story, once again Delaware's government is going to look like a bunch of yahoos. I'm not a Christine supporter, but even she deserves her privacy and her rights as a legal American to be honored, etc. So I hope they do go after whomever orchestrated this against her. Of course the bigger question is, how many more conservatives, TEA folks did the Obama Administration via the IRS go after, both in Delaware and nationally? As Paul Harvey used to say, let's hear the rest of the story.

I must confess, I've not watched or listened to Sarah Palin for a few years [always enjoyed Tina Fey's version more- heh heh]. So it is possible that she finally decided to pick up some books and newspapers and actually do some reading, studying, and learning on her own. So she may be far better now than she was in 2008. Problem for her is first impressions are tough to change. As she so throughly convinced America by her total lack of any knowledge back in 2008 that she isn't qualified for any Senate, House, or Prez job then[she can't blame the lamestream media for asking her tough questions that's their job, her job was to answer them intelligently]. She'd have to really be able to discuss in depth, not just quick surface sound bytes that there's cattle with that hat, that the "Grizzly Barbie" is NOW more than just a pretty face.

Senator McCain did her a real dis-service as he brought her onto the world stage way before she was ready back in 2008. She has chrisma, no doubt, but she needs the cattle to go along with the hat. If she ever gets that together THEN she'd have a chance of being a real force beyond TEA party folks.

Wed, Jul 24, 2013 5:35pm
The Republicans are taking the Senate in 2014, with or without Delaware. So, if Delaware wants to be relevant.......

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Jul 24, 2013 8:55pm
Mrpizza: If Delaware elects Christine O'Donnell to the Senate it definitely won't be relevant, it will be a laughing stock. So IF the DEL GOP wants a Republican Senator from Delaware come 2014 then give us someone we can seriously consider and Christine isn't it. There aren't enough of you yellow dog Republicans in this state to carry an election on your own. You need Independents and moderate/conservative DEMS and Christine won't get you their votes, it is what it is.

Wed, Jul 24, 2013 9:32pm
Sorry, but I don't care if anybody from the Delaware GOP wins or not. If they want to send Coons back for a second term, fine. What I care about is the GOP taking the Senate and keeping the House and what states they come from doesn't matter. I also don't care if the GOP elects a few bad apples. The majority is where it's at because that determines who heads up committees and how legislation gets voted on. It only takes 51 Republicans to stop 50 Democrats (I'm figuring VP Biden into the equation).

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Jul 24, 2013 9:56pm
Mr pizza: Good point & strategy for the national GOP. We see it differently, but I can understand your goal.

Thu, Jul 25, 2013 2:59am
Coons will be going back and there is nothing anyone in the Republican Party can do to stop it. If anything, they should try to win one more vote over last time, and celebrate that and call it a victory.

I only know of three supporters of Christine. Two recently disavowed her in public, and one was arrested while a state Senate candidate downstate in District 19. He by the way, was the only person she has endorsed.

Her reputation within the GOP is as someone who shows up wherever there are cameras. No cameras? She couldn't care less and hasn't these past 3 years since she's lost.

She may still be the nominee, only because no other candidate is willing to take the drubbing Cragg took in 2012. Poor guy. All that work for 29% of the vote...

Thu, Jul 25, 2013 3:03am
... not to mention the only reason he took the job was that he was promised he'd be the chairman of the party. Like that was going to happen. You can only trust a Republican as far as you can throw them; them being overweight from all that boozing, that is about one and 1/2 inches, as Jeff Cragg found out.. They treat the citizens of Delaware far worse than they treat their own.

Thu, Jul 25, 2013 9:45am
I think that Coons could be defeated by Castle...Delaware is so blue that Castle is probably the closest thing to a Republican that can win.

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Jul 25, 2013 10:41am
EarlGrey: Good point. Now if only the Del GOP/TEA folks would realize that. Then coming to that realization pick someone as their candidate who'd at least 75-80% of the time vote with them as Castle did, rather than picking a candidate that would blindly vote for whatever they want 100% of the time, but who has no chance of winning meaning they end up with a Senator [Coons] who will never vote with them at all. The all or nothing thing is what's killing the GOP, both in Delaware and nationally.

A half of a loaf of bread is better than having no bread at all. Liberals understand this, its how they get their projects passed. Take it one step at a time, move the ball little by little towards the goal post.

Conservatives want to have it 100% their way NOW [ an example: Prolife want NO abortions and would never consider accepting just getting rid of Partial Birth Abortion as any sort of a victory, but it would be a major victory ; or providing better help for these single women who are pregnant so they'd be able to keep their baby and not end up choosing to abort it, etc, ]. The all or nothing approach doesn't work well, and as a result that tactic scares folks and the GOP seems to end up losing more often than they win. Compromise is not an "evil socialistic" word. It's how things get done in a democracy.

Thu, Jul 25, 2013 8:17pm
Castle ain't runnin'. He has it too good where he is.

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