Jewish World Review Sept. 17, 2010 9 Tishrei, 5771
O'Donnell May Be the Average American
By Roger Simon
Christine O'Donnell, 41, unemployed and portrayed pretty much as an outright thief, would be dogmeat when Mike Castle, 71, who had never lost an election, got done with her.
The deal was done, the outcome guaranteed, the cake baked.
Castle then could win the general election, running against a Democrat of no special distinction. Which would mean that Republicans could actually pick up 10 seats on Nov. 2, giving them control of the Senate.
It was an easy choice for Republicans voting in the primary: Elect Castle and possibly win the Senate or elect O'Donnell and possibly see press accounts about her get even worse.
According the published accounts, O'Donnell was spending campaign funds for half her rent and $545.98 to purchase a mattress or mattresses from Mattress Giant.
She "hasn't had a steady job in years" according to another account and had lied about being a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University, which had sued for unpaid student loans. She also had failed to pay her federal taxes and defaulted on her house payments.
Which, to some, made her an average American. They found it easy to identify with her, feel her pain and vote for her.
After all, what was $545.98 for mattresses compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarks Congress approved every year or the trillions of dollars it spent on wars?
But then there was the wackiness factor. O'Donnell believes in sexual abstinence for those not married (how wacky can you get?) and has denounced masturbation as a form of "lust."
Critics seized — so to speak — on that last one, though Democrat Paul Begala, an excellent political analyst, could not bring himself to speak the word on CNN recently, preferring "self gratification" instead (which sounds about 10 times worse to me).
O'Donnell also has called Barack Obama "anti-American," and according to The New York Times, "has taken positions against federal financing for stem cell research, is opposed to abortion even in cases of rape and favors tough penalties against businesses that hire illegal immigrants. She has also suggested in past television interviews that evolution is soft science and questioned the utility of financing AIDS programs."
In other words, she is a Republican.
But to the Beltway commentariat, she was a nut. And a nut with no chance against a proven winner like Castle, even though he was best known to most Americans via YouTube as the guy who held a town hall meeting and got screamed at by a women holding a sheaf of papers and claiming that Barack Obama had not been born in the United States.
No matter. Castle was the establishment Republican, and O'Donnell had been endorsed by Sarah Palin and the tea party people, which pretty much proved that O'Donnell had to be a head case.
"There's just a lot of nutty things she's been saying that just simply don't add up," Republican senior statesman Karl Rove said.
So what happens? The nut gets 53.1 percent of the vote (Obama got 52.9 percent in his 2008 presidential victory) and now will carry the Republican banner against Democrat Chris Coons, the county executive of New Castle County, the most populous county in Delaware.
Which means, analysts quickly decided, that she will lose, Republicans will not pick up 10 seats in the Senate, and therefore the Democrats will hang on to at least one house of Congress.
It is not an unreasonable judgment. Delaware has 292,000 registered Democrats, 182,000 registered Republicans and 146,000 registered independents.
But those are the neat little boxes that politicians and commentators place people in. People often define themselves much differently, however, and look for candidates "who understand my problems" or "is a regular person just like me."
A few voices have questioned whether O'Donnell's loss is inevitable: Neil King Jr. of The Wall Street Journal wrote an article that appeared Wednesday under the headline "Odds Are Tough, but Not Hopeless, for GOP in Delaware" and Mark Halperin of The Page referenced his Thursday appearance on "Morning Joe" under the headline: "Don't Write Off O'Donnell."
But most analysts are writing her off (or are waiting for the polls to see which way they should jump).
After all, O'Donnell really is way over on the right, and Delaware is not a way over on the right state. At least until now.
Something is clearly going on in this country. And while O'Donnell, Palin and the tea party are giggled about in Washington, they are seen as a deadly serious and potent political force by many outside. Those outside are not giggling right now. They are waiting for election night to do that.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
© 2009, Creators Syndicate