By pulling off arguably the biggest upset of the primary election season Tuesday, Christine O’Donnell shocked the Republican establishment and political pundits who didn’t think her campaign for the Delaware GOP Senate nomination had a chance.
But none were more surprised then the staffers who worked for O’Donnell in 2008, when she made the second of two prior unsuccessful bids for the Senate.
The tea party giant-killer who knocked off Rep. Mike Castle Tuesday is barely recognizable to them. They remember a candidate who was less interested in conservative causes than scoring a television deal, one who suggested dodging campaign vendors, believed she could give the keynote speech at the Republican National Convention and fixated on a harebrained idea to distribute tens of thousands of two-ounce suntan lotion packets to voters.
That Christine O’Donnell lost in a landslide to then-Sen. Joe Biden, who was simultaneously running for vice president.
Kristin Murray, who left her position in the state party to serve as one of several campaign managers for O’Donnell during that race, said warning bells went off in June 2008 when the two were discussing cell phone plans.
“She told me that she thought Joe Biden tapped her phone line,” she said.
Alan Moore, who worked on press releases and policy statements for two months during the 2008 bid and now helps run the conservative site Townhall.com, said his conversations with the candidate led him to believe “her priorities were completely out of whack.”