Thursday, Dec. 09, 2010

Bewitched by Christine O'Donnell

Christine O'Donnell may or may not have ever been a witch, but her Tea Party–backed bid to represent Delaware in the Senate always seemed to be the stuff of fairy tales. The Republican establishment's worst fears proved true when the Democrats' vulnerability in the seat, once held by Vice President Joe Biden, was offset by a media feeding frenzy on O'Donnell's flirtation with spiritual esoterica and creative takes on masturbation, evolution and the separation of church and state. O'Donnell was Mama Grizzly No. 1 in a group that included New York gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino, who criticized the gay lifestyle even as he profited from it, and Sharron Angle, the Nevada challenger for Harry Reid's Senate seat who saw Asians among Hispanics and a specter of Islamic Shari'a law haunting the Midwest. Still, O'Donnell garnered more headlines, and more attention on late-night talk shows, than all of her Tea Party colleagues. And that's why, when the 112th Congress is seated in January 2011, it will be the once unfancied Chris Coons who will take Biden's old seat.