Just What Is the Craziest Thing Delaware Tea Partier Christine O'Donnell Has Ever Said?
This post first appeared on the Washington Monthly.
Christine O'Donnell's (R) Senate campaign in Delaware is running into the same problem we saw with Sharron Angle's (R) campaign in Nevada -- an extremist candidate who wasn't taken seriously suddenly wins a primary, starting a race to find the most ridiculous things the candidate has said in public.
With Angle, the bandaid was ripped off slowly (and in some cases, isn't quite done), with humiliating examples dribbling out over weeks, each generating a story reinforcing the Senate hopeful's radical qualities. With O'Donnell, the same dynamic is playing out the same way.
Indeed, the new parlor game seems to be trying to choose the single craziest thing Christine O'Donnell has said in public. Looking only at examples that came to light over the last 24 hours, we have this gem from an interview with Bill O'Reilly on Fox News:
"American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains. So they're already into this experiment."
There was also the CNN interview in which O'Donnell touted the Biblical family structure in which women should be subservient to their husbands.
"This is a biblical doctrine. And the passage from the Bible the Baptist article is taken from talks about a submissive family. And yet, what the media seems to be reacting to is the word 'submit' in the wives. But yet, even in, Mary, your introduction, you ignored or you left out where it says they graciously submit to a servant leader. And that is God's design for the family. It is not about dominating and it is not about being a slave to your husband."
There was also a C-SPAN appearance in which O'Donnell suggested President Clinton was involved with Vince Foster's death, which she baselessly described as a "murder":
"I think it's very interesting that President Clinton has come on a lot more charges and a lot more serious charges than what Newt Gingrich is being charged on, yet we're not making as big of an issue, we're not forcing that he go to trial. We're not giving people like Paula Jones a fair trial, we're not giving the case of Vincent Foster a fair trial -- when there is a lot more empirical evidence that Clinton is involved in wrongdoing."
There was also the MSNBC interview in which O'Donnell attacked condoms:
"[C]ondoms will not protect you from AIDS. So to just throw a bunch of condoms over to Africa and say, here, we're helping you with AIDS, is just going to further the spread of AIDS over there."
In fairness, O'Donnell now believes her worldview has " matured" over the years, and some of these quotes are from the '90s. Then again, her belief that scientists have created mice with fully functioning human brains was stated in 2007, which wasn't that long ago.
For many credible candidates with professional operations, research is done months in advance, so campaigns knows what's coming and can even leak out bad news before the race enters the home stretch. But O'Donnell is just a fringe activist, who happens to be a major party U.S. Senate nominee, who we'll continue to get to know over the next several weeks.