We've heard it said often enough throughout this midterm campaign cycle; "elections have consequences" and "every vote counts." I would add..."and no matter how piously they might try, experts and pundits aren't always right."
This is because, by and large, no one can truly predict how people will react (h/t Sussex County Angel) and what they might do under the right combination of outrage, angst, frustration, and the general malaise that inevitably sets in when Government actions result in the suffering of the people it was elected to represent. Just ask Mike Castle.
The 2010 campaign cycle has been about many things; jobs, deficits, debt, and the generally depressed economy that has resulted from poor decisions and dramatic over-reach by the Obama/Reid/Pelosi agenda in Washington. But this campaign cycle is about something else as well.
It is about a reckoning with the American people.
Back when she was Christine "WHO?" O'Donnell, I was honored to sit down for a few minutes with Christine and discuss her candidacy for US Senate. I had seen her original presser in which she referred to herself as a "Citizen Politician" and discussed with her last June just exactly what that meant. Fast forward now, almost 5 months later, to the new Christine "She Can't Win" O'Donnell...and my second interview. This time, we had much more to discuss...and a great deal of fun discussing it.
This lady is the real deal folks, and - yes - she CAN win (like she did in the primary against the unbeatable Mike Castle) if only people on her own [redacted] team would start doing the work necessary to make sure of it...including money, boots on the ground, and continued engagement with her campaign and in the national dialog about what's at stake for our country going forward.
What I like most about Christine O'Donnell is that she really is one of us.
Candidates from all across the country have stepped forward this year and said *ENOUGH* and the booming collective voice of America has stood up and demanded a fundamental change...and not the one promised by Barack Obama.
We were made a promise in our Constitution, and Obama and the Democrats have been breaking that promise at every turn. The promise to respect our freedoms and our liberties. The promise to defend them whenever and wherever they are being trampled upon...and the promise that would defer to the better judgement and collective will of "We, the People." One such US Senate candidate is making this case in Delaware...Christine O'Donnell.
Christine "She's Going To Win" O'Donnell proved the experts and the elitists wrong by defeating the shoo-in Mike Castle. Everyone said the General election would be his to lose against Coons, and yet here we are with Christine having taken him out by 6 points. STILL, everyone says she can't win. STILL people aren't paying attention to the voices of the folks that will actually cast those votes in Delaware on November 2, 2010. STILL people are more worried about protecting their preconceived notions than about helping the people of Delaware send the right people to Washington to clean up Obama's mess...
When I spoke with Christine, the first question I asked was this:
Back in June when you were Christine "Who?" you and I talked about your use of the expression "Citizen Politician" and what that meant. You're past the primary now, having taken Castle out, and have become Christine "She Can't Win" heading into the General Election. What are your thoughts, given what you've been through in this campaign...including the fights you've had even within your OWN party...about that expression and how it has affected your candidacy?
She responded that "this country needs Citizen Politicians". She added that the "idea resonates with voters because, for too many people, politics has become overwhelming."
All across Delaware, folks have told me how much they support my candidacy but, when I thank them and ask them for their vote, a surprising number of people have told me that they don't vote. When I ask why, many of them have said they are too nervous or uncomfortable at the polling places. I have encouraged them to try...to go to the polls and to ask for help. I believe I have helped to inspire every day people...people just like you and me...to go out and learn about the issues and make their voices heard in the election. I believe this has played a major role in our winning the primary and also had everything to do with the record voter turnout.
Some have pointed out that they would like to be more involved but they just aren't sure how...or what they can do. I think being a "Citizen Politician" has helped inspire more people to get out there and become more active and help put Government back in the hands of the people.
Personally, this idea of every-day Americans being elected officials gives more people reason to believe they are being listened to, that their concerns will be addressed in Washington, and that they might truly be able to engage directly with their Representatives. This direct interaction between Politicians and the People is exactly what Christine O'Donnell believes is necessary for folks to get engaged and stay involved. I'm just an anonymous schlub out here in the internet world, and yet my conversation with Christine was as normal as any one of YOU would have with even your own next door neighbor. Would that we had more Politicians in Washington that could do this with us.
As Christine points out, "Delaware voters are hurting, their families are suffering, and people that were never involved in politics before WANT to be now, and are getting more confidence every day that they really can make a difference." She genuinely believes her campaign and her "Citizen Politician" candidacy has been a major factor in that shift with the voters.
She went on to point out that there needs to be a balance in the national discussion too. The media, for its part, routinely twists what she says (and other candidates in other races across the country) and that places like ours...and Conservative blogs and websites in general... are out there to bring some balance to this discussion. She further suggests that all of us, in each of our communities, continue to engage in the comments sections, and to look for places where we can volunteer our time and energy these last two weeks and beyond to help get out the message and get out the vote.
I couldn't agree more. In fact, we laughed as I pointed out that I was under no requirement to be neutral here...and that I had every intention of showing my bias whenever and wherever I could.
Next up...Part II: The race itself, the distinctions between the candidates, and reflections on the Christine O'Donnell campaign when all is said and done. And a surprise little anecdote that will be worth the wait.