Saturday, March 20, 2010

Christine O'Donnell; Delaware Battleground

Christine O'Donnell, who ran for the US Senate against Joe Biden in 2008, is running again this year against ultimate RINO, career politician and mega-millionaire Michael Castle. What's not to like about Christine, a devout Catholic, a fiscal and social conservative, and a strikingly beautiful woman?

The Castle Campaign doesn't like Christine O'Donnell one bit. They wish Christine would go away, that she wouldn't stand in the way of Castle's election -- or, call it his "coronation." Sadly, a few segments of the local media have been carrying water for Castle and spreading gossip and innuendos about her.

Christine is not a rich woman by any means. She grew up in a poor family, one with six children. She said recently that one of the early lessons she learned in life was that it was "hard." Christine doesn't complain, doesn't ever try to play the role of the victim. But she would agree with the famous comment of another Irish-American political figure, John F. Kennedy, that "life is unfair."

Christine probably also would agree with the statement by Jason Chaffetz, the superb freshman congressman from Utah. He said, "You shouldn't have to be a millionaire to run for Congress." Chaffetz sleeps in his office, showers in the House gym, and eats in the cafeteria. Mormon Jason knows, as does Catholic Christine O'Donnell, that life isn't always a bed of flowers..

A story that's been making the rounds this week in Delaware is that -- one time -- Christine's debit card was rejected. In the minds of a few Delawareans -- and in the small mind of Mike Castle, who's almost certainly the source of the story -- that says something bad about Christine.
Barack Obama would sympathize with Christine. In 2000, at the Democrat National Convention, he tried to rent a car. He couldn't, because his credit card, maxxed out, was rejected.

Was that the last we ever saw of Obama? Obviously not. At the 2004 Democrat Convention, he gave the keynote address. In that year, he was elected to the US Senate (take heart, Christine), and in 2008 he was nominated for president. He doesn't have to worry about his credit card balances ever again.

Another story spread about Christine is that she was left over with campaign debt -- a piddling amount -- from her 2008 battle against Biden. In fact, any challenger for a federal office who doesn't have campaign debt obviously wasn't trying to win -- and anyone who knows Christine understands that winning was her only goal.

Campaign debt: Barack Obama raised a staggering amount, $700 mllion, but he had debt left over after he won the presidency. As for campaign debt, Hillary Clinton ended her bid for the presidency with a debt exceeding $22 million.

As late as mid-2009, Mrs. Clinton was still millions in debt. Of course, she and her husband have a net worth in excess of $100 million, so "debt" is perhaps a misnomer.

If Christine O'Donnell were as rich as her opponent -- Mike Castle -- she would never have another financial worry in her life. Castle's net worth ( is as high as $7.8 milion. Even at that level, however, he's "only" the 55th wealthiest member of the House. In the Senate, which he'd serve in if Christine weren't going to beat him, his $7.8 million would be chump change to people like Kerry, Herb Kohl, and Jay Rockefeller, to name a few.

Christine isn't a millionaire, and maybe never will be one (although I wouldn't bet against her). But as Cong. Chaffetz indicated, there's no constitutional requirement that a US Senator be rich. In fact, if we had a few more normal Americans -- like Christine -- in Congress perhaps they wouldn't be spending so much of our money, while retaining all of their own.

In important ways, in fact, Christine is rich -- in the depth of her conservative political philosophy, in the quality of the lessons she's learned from life, and in the abundance of friends she has (of whom I'm proud to be one).

Conservatives around the nation should embrace the candidacy of this outstanding American woman. Christine O'Donnell will make a great US Senator from Delaware. Other states should be so lucky to have such a person running for high office. Let's make it happen!

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