Saturday, October 02, 2010

Is Christine O'Donnell Just Dabbling in Delaware Politics?

Think Progress has the latest video bomb from Bill Maher, which features Christine O'Donnell in 1999 talking about her search for spiritual fulfillment:
I was dabbling in witchcraft. I’ve dabbled in Buddhism. I would have become a Hare Krishna but I didn’t want to become a vegetarian. And that is honestly the reason why — because I’m Italian, I love meatballs.
Which brought to mind this snippet of dialog from Woody Allen in the film Manhattan:
My first wife was a kindergarten teacher, you know. She got into drugs and she moved to San Francisco. Went into est, became a Moonie. She's with the William Morris Agency now.
The William Morris Agency was a leading advertising firm of the day.

Even though the film was released twenty years before O'Donnell's description of her dabbling in witchcraft and Buddhism, both point to a spiritual rootlessness in American life.

This makes me wonder why it is that O'Donnell settled in Delaware. She came here to take a job with a conservative think tank (which she sued for discrimination), and stayed to become a perennial candidate. She was on her way to being an asterisk in Delaware's political history, when she shocked Delaware and the country by defeating Mike Castle.

Since then, she hasn't engaged in the kind of retail politics Delawareans have come to expect. The News Journal reports that she has hardly been seen in Delaware:
"We are being manipulated by people outside of this state. This isn't about Delaware anymore," said [GOP operative Don] Mell, a Castle supporter. "We're the platform. We're the stage. We've been sucked up into a national fight and all we are at the end of the day is potential collateral damage."
The New York Times, which has also noticed how O'Donnell has "cloistered herself" recently, seems as puzzled by the O'Donnell phenomenon as we are:
In some ways, Ms. O’Donnell is a case study in how a relative unknown can ride a curiosity factor, media wave and a political movement to overnight celebrity.
Those who aren't caught up in the fervor of the Tea Party are left to conclude that Delaware is just a set for her, just as Bill Maher provided a stage in the 1990s. Hopefully O'Donnell will ride her notoriety to a bigger stage, and we can get back to the less exciting business of local politics and self government. The Delaware GOP will be left to clean up the collateral damage, and the rest of us will wonder whether the retail politics we know and love will ever be the same.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Unstable Isotope said...

I think it's a bad sign if O'Donnell gets elected. It's a sign that the only thing that matters anymore is money. Then we'll have a slew of candidates straight from Tea Party Central casting. Says the things that satisfy the corporate masters and votes that way, too.

1:22 PM, October 02, 2010  
Anonymous kavips said...

I disagree, I think it could be a good sign if she gets elected.

People, not political machines vote. If she gets elected it's because she got Palinized as the working woman, and Coons, great as he is, got portrayed as the the Gore-ing stiff.

Coons needs to balance her enthusiasm by showing what he really is.. someone passionate about fixing the problems we have in government today.

If the passion is equal on both sides... people will then look to who makes the most sense...

Fixing things, beats tearing things down, every time...

10:20 PM, October 02, 2010  

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