And you know what? I believe her.
Christine O’Donnell isn’t me, of course. Nor is she you. But, as she rightfully points out, she is us—plural: a typical American with strong opinions about things who doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what she is.
When asked about some of her more controversial remarks, such as her statement that she once dabbled in witchcraft, she neither denies the obvious facts (as McCain is famous for doing) nor makes excuses. She simply says, “I’m not twenty any more.” And who among us could claim to have said or done nothing in our 20s that we wouldn’t want broadcast on national television?
Of all the wing nuts the tea party has put forth this campaign season, Christine O’Donnell appears to me to be the most likable, as well as perhaps the most sincere.
She doesn’t torture the truth beyond recognition (like Sharron Angle, when she claims that Harry Reid “voted to give Viagra to child molesters”). Unlike Joe Miller, who wants to abolish Social Security and the minimum wage, she may—as she claims—have some empathetic understanding of the needs of ordinary people. And unlike the Mama Grizzly herself, Sarah Palin, she has a gentle, well modulated voice and conciliatory manner that makes it easy to listen to her—no matter how nonsensical her arguments may be.
I like her.
If I lived in Delaware, I wouldn’t dream of voting for her, of course. Being nice and ordinary hardly qualifies a person to be a Senator, any more than being bitchy, negative, and dishonest qualifies her to be Vice President.
Aided and abetted by Fox News, however, the Tea Party has convinced a good part of the American electorate that to be taken seriously, a candidate must be hostile, sarcastic, and positively bristling with Doomsday scenarios.
Sadly, it’s her lack of those negative qualities, and not her lack of common sense, that makes Christine O’Donnell the biggest long shot candidate in the midterm elections.