Mitt Romney Can't Catch a Break--Christine O'Donnell Endorses Him

Christine O'Donnell is right that a dragged-out primary hurts Republicans, but it actually helped Democrats in 2008.


Former Gov. Mitt Romney just can't seem to get a break. And most recently, it's not because of an endorsement he failed to get. It's because of one he just received, from failed Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell, best known for her creepy TV ad reassuring voters that she is not a witch.

At a time when the GOP field is seeking to kick it up a scholarly notch, O'Donnell's endorsement reminds voters of the intellectual lightweights in the party. Remarkably, O'Donnell—much like professional egotist Donald Trump—seems to think her blessing is desired.

[ Check out political cartoons about Mitt Romney.]

"I've been warned by many not to endorse because no matter who I choose, no doubt some will be upset, O'Donnell said in a statement. Really? Was the field of contenders trying to win her endorsement? Or is it only the campaign strategists of the endorsee who she believes will be upset?

More wisdom from the unsuccessful candidate:

"It is a difficult decision choosing between such great candidates, truly difficult. Yet, this race is too important to sit out. It's the presidential race, for heaven's sake, and we're struggling out of a stubbornly lingering recession and extricating ourselves from two costly wars. Of course it's an important race.

[ See pictures of the 2012 GOP candidates.]

Then there's this political insight:

Additionally, we simply can't afford to have the primary contest drag out the way it did in 2008. Unlike 2008 when the incumbent president was not a candidate, the longer the 2012 GOP Primary contest drags out, Pres. Obama continues to have a free pass and get away with campaigning from the Oval Office. The sooner we have a nominee, the sooner we as a movement can unite and get to the real task at hand; making sure Pres. Obama is a one-term president.

[ Vote now: Will Obama be a one-term president?]

Baaaaammmmmp! Not really. The 2008 GOP primary didn't really "drag on; former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee stayed in the race for awhile, but he stayed in longer than he genuinely was in the race. It was the Democratic primary that dragged on until June, and their guy won the election. That primary served to make President Obama a stronger candidate, and had Hillary Clinton won the nomination, she would have been a stronger candidate as well. The difference between the Democrats in 2008 and the GOP in the current cycle is that the Democrats' last primary dragged on because they had two very strong candidates with very different appeals to voters. The Republicans, at the moment at least, are facing an extended selection process because segments of the party are unhappy with the offerings.

O'Donnell is right, then, in suggesting that a protracted civil war within the GOP could weaken the eventual nominee. But if her endorsement would make the difference, the party has much bigger problems.