Please, no more flaky female candidates

First Palin, now O'Donnell — we've suffered enough

September 27, 2010|Susan Reimer

The ascendance of Christine O'Donnell, Delaware's tea party-backed candidate for the U.S. Senate, has women like me cringing like we haven't done since Sarah Palin arrived on the scene.

Please, God. Not another ditz with baggage and a loopy belief system.

Ms. O'Donnell — and the never-married 41-year-old might object to that courtesy title — was the surprise winner of the Republican nomination in our neighbor state, running with Ms. Palin's endorsement and on her platform of patriotic platitudes.

Democrats think so little of her that they have left the state to focus their fundraising and politicking on tougher races in November. Even Republican strategist Karl Rove thinks she is too far off the grid, saying on Fox, "This is not a race we're going to be able to win."

Ms. O'Donnell comes with a list of legitimate questions. How does she support herself, and is it with campaign funds? Why did she mislead voters about her education (she only received her degree after paying off a 20-year-old debt to the college this summer)? She has murky financial problems, including unpaid taxes and a house in foreclosure.

And she comes with some crazy ideas: Condoms do not prevent AIDS, and masturbation is against God's law because you can't engage in it without lust in your heart. (I mean, who even goes there?) And she says evolution is a "soft science."

Then her old pal Bill Maher released ancient video clips from his "Politically Incorrect" talk show in which she confesses to dabbling in witchcraft and having a midnight date at a makeshift satanic altar, though she didn't realize it was an altar at the time, despite the blood. (Mike Lupica at the New York Daily News asked in a column if she thought she was at the counter at a White Castle.)

Where are those boringly smart women they keep finding for the U.S. Supreme Court? Can't we get one of those on a ticket somehow? I feel like I am back in high school, when even the girls were infatuated with the majorettes.

I bet a lot of you who identify with a racial category, an ethnicity or a geographic area can understand how I am feeling. Why do only the misfits in our camp get the headlines?

When that Gainesville pastor threatened to hold a Quran burning on the anniversary of Sept. 11, my friend Michelle, who hails from the Sunshine State, asked plaintively, "Why is it always Florida?"

Certainly, there are plenty of politicians of recent vintage who shame the white males among their constituents — Mark Sanford and John Edwards for starters. But there are so many white male politicians, it is almost a statistical certainty for this to happen.

Women have not been granted enough seats at the table to waste them on Sarah Palin acolytes. Ms. O'Donnell not only looks like her, she takes campaign advice from Ms. Palin via Twitter, obeying Ms. Palin's dictate to avoid the national media because it is "seeking ur destruction."

The upside to her nomination is the hitch it puts in Republican hopes to retake the Senate. Mr. Rove predicted Delaware voters won't support her because she says "a lot of nutty things."

Must so many of our female political fresh faces have the same characteristic: being absolutely unelectable?

Susan Reimer's column appears Mondays. Her e-mail is susan.reimer@baltsun.com. Twitter.com/susanreimer.

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