Christine O’Donnell’s Senate Push: The British Are Coming!


In protest of the passage of the Tea Act, colonists dumped tea in the Boston harbor. King George III and Parliament responded by closing the port where the tea was dumped, sending regiments to the harbor, and lambasting Benjamin Franklin for publishing information that was seen as oppositional to the government. Franklin responded by saying, “I shall make your king a little man for this.”

In protest of the passage of the Tea Act, colonists dumped tea in the Boston harbor. King George III and Parliament responded by closing the port where the tea was dumped, sending regiments to the harbor, and lambasting Benjamin Franklin for publishing information that was seen as oppositional to the government. Franklin responded by saying, “I shall make your king a little man for this.”

Few, if any, today could be compared to Ben Franklin. The current political conflicts are also not overly comparable to the American Revolution. But, echoes from the past are often used to create current connections.

Christine O’Donnell’s name became nationally prevalent when she won her Republican primary election last week. Yet another sign that GOP voters are cleansing their own ranks. Unhappy with losing, the election results of the past few cycles are ushering in a new wave of candidates. McCaine-like soft-glove fighting, is again being rejected.

The passion evidenced through names like Kelly Ayotte (NH), Joe Miller (Alaska), and Carl Paladino (NY) winning unexpectedly is palpable. While momentum seems to be with Republican voters, it is still unknown how general election battles will play out. Current talking points are being sharpened regarding the perceived general election viability of these potential office holders.

Delaware’s Republican Senatorial candidate Mike Castle wasn’t seen as strong enough to beat an upstart in O’Donnell, who had run multiple times for office in the past. So, was it logical to believe that he somehow would have been strong enough to beat his Democratic opponent in November? The primary voters did not think so.

Labeling voters supporting so-called, Tea Party candidates, as angry does somewhat reveal the emotions of the name callers. A person who holds a particular political slant generally has difficulty being open to others who have drawn different conclusions. Just because someone does not support another person’s candidacy does not mean anger is at the core of their choice. That implies that an entire voting block is somehow emotionally unbalanced.

O’Donnell previous attempts at election have not faired so well. She was previously massively outspent and subsequently did not come close to winning. The person that outspent her was six-time incumbent Democratic Senator Joseph Biden.

This time she has greater financial backing and subsequently her background was well vetted as the primary election season developed. When the opposing campaign saw that she could be a threat, the digging started. Candidates often fling mud at each other, or allow others to do so, with voters left feeling dirty as they stand at the polling place on election day.

The Republican Senatorial nominee’s unexpected win seems to be generating a response similar to that of another candidate two years ago, Sarah Palin. At that time opponents of Palin’s Vice Presidential selection quickly tried to paste her with labels that they hoped would stick beyond that November election. Those tactics seem to be reserved for candidates who might be seen as game-changers on a national scale. But, voters generally don’t like being told who is, or who is not, qualified.chris coons

In contrast, little focus has been placed on O’Donnell’s Democratic opponent Chris Coons. Most may not know much about him. How many outside of Delaware could even identify him if shown his photo? Outside forces often insert themselves in state, or local political contests, when larger issues are in play.

Keep in mind that O’Donnell’s stated views do not peg her as a compromiser on various issues. Perceived opponents can derail agendas and must be stopped from winning. Because if opponents are not stopped power will be diminished, or lost. This motivator should always be considered whenever a candidate, from either party, is instantly newsworthy.

A clip, shown on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” last week, showed a much younger O’Donnell as part of a panel on Maher’s old ABC show “Politically Incorrect.” In that clip O’Donnell discussed her association with those who believed that they were involved in witchcraft. Maher emphasized that he considered O’Donnell to be a nice person, unlike Sarah Palin, who he considers to be mean. He noted that he would continue to show weekly footage until O’Donnell appeared on his show.

Also during the past week, some former political campaign members stated their misgivings about O’Donnell’s handling of campaign funds. She then chose to cancel CBS and FOX News weekend interview appearances, citing prior commitments to attend church picnics. She was then seen at those events.

Either she, her advisors, or both wanted to chose the venue for her response to these branding attempts. Thoughtful responses might prevent viability seeds from taking root during this short general election campaign season. Candidates who win focal point elections always need to tightly manage their own image development, because if they don’t there isn’t enough time to recover.

The latest volcano to push through the political earth continues to leave the careers of incumbents burning in the ashes. But, people are no longer in Hawaii questioning birth records. The electorate is headed for November, 2010. They know that tea was dumped overboard, most recently in Delaware. Through history, they also know that while the British eventually lost a war with their colonists, they did not lose every battle during it.

Email Sean O’Brien at

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  1. Nice article

    Tea party supporters are clearly angry but not necessarily irrational. Their anger is based on a perception that those in power are leading the country in the wrong direction and they’re more than willing to send them all packing. Personal characteristics of the candidates are less important than where they stand on the issues. Because O’Donnell embraces smaller government and lower taxes, supporters are wiling to overlook the so-called character flaws. Having voters focus on the issues will prove deadly to Democrats who depend on character assassination to beat their opponents. The business of O’Donnell dabbling in witchcraft took it to a new level – a literal witch hunt pursued by the leftist media with all the zeal of the Spanish Inquisition. Fortunately, most normal people laughed it off. 

    • Thank you for your comments. 

      Thank you for your comments.  The perceptions formed by the public of a candidate are clearly shaped, in part, by their opposition.  It does seem clear that candidates, of every party, do try to put a spell on the voters with their messages.   


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