Christine O’Donnell — a conservative moral crusader and marketing consultant who believes that masturbation is harmful and who has been shunned by the Republican National Committee — dealt a severe blow to her party’s chance of winning back the U.S. Senate in the November 2010 by-elections by beating U.S. Representative Mike Castle for the GOP nomination. She is the latest in a series of outre reactionaries like Rand Paul in Kentucky who have been able to stage spectacular upsets with the backing of the Tea Party movement.
Allegedly a grass roots movement, the Tea Party is bankrolled by the billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch and has critical media support from their fellow billionaire Rupert Murdoch, the majority owner of Fox News. (Minority partners in Murdoch’s holding company News Corp, include Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.)
A nine-term Congressman, Mike Castle was the favorite to win Vice President Joe Biden’s Senate seat come November. The seat is currently held by Ted Kaufman, a Democrat who was named to the seat to fill the vacancy created by Biden’s elevation to the Vice Presidency.
Delaware’s sole Congressman, Castle has represented The First State longer than any other U.S. Representative in the state’s history. Prior to being elected to Congress, Castle was governor, lieutenant governor and a long-time member of the state legislature. He won re-election to Congress in 2008 with 61.1% of the vote.
Christine O’Donnell — who has lived in Delaware for only seven years — was vicious towards the highly respected Castle, attacking him for being a moderate and questioning his masculinity. She called into question his sexuality, claiming he was “light in the loafers” (an ancient slur meaning someone is a closeted homosexual) and urging him to put on “man pants.”
Castle — a direct descendant of Founding Father Benjamin Franklin — is married but has no children.
Christine O’Donnell made her name by being a right-wing Republican crusader for moral issues such as the chastity of college women. She ran for the U.S. Senate in 2006 (coming in third in the Republican Primary) and in 2008, when she was unopposed for the GOP nomination. She was crushed by Joe Biden in the November election by 65% to 35%.
In 2010, the perpetual candidate was endorsed by Sarah Palin, the uncrowned “Red Queen” of the Tea Party movement. The RNC has said that it will not support her financially if she won the nomination, so it will be up to Palin and the Tea Party movement to fund her campaign against Democrat Chris Coons.
Fox News, “Tea Party-Backed O’Donnell Upsets GOP With Senate Primary Win in Delaware”
New York Times, “G.O.P. Insurgents Win in Del. and N.Y.” by Jeff Zeleny
Washington Post, “Christine O’Donnell upsets Mike Castle in Delaware Senate primary”