Christine O’Donnell’s Old Campaign Aides Hate Her

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Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

On primary day earlier this week, Christine O'Donnell's campaign manager from her 2008 run for senate, Kristin Murray, released a robocall to voters in which she called O'Donnell a "complete fraud" who had used campaign donations for personal expenses and "just wanted to make a buck." But Murray isn't the only former aide disillusioned by O'Donnell's quirky campaign strategies, such as wasting money and distributing suntan lotion.

For instance, she was suspiciously concerned with wrangling some kind of TV contract out of her candidacy.


[Alan] Moore, who first decided to volunteer for O'Donnell after hearing about her at a meeting of college Republicans, said that at one point, O'Donnell talked to him about winning a lucrative television contract with CNN or Fox News Channel.

"I informed her that most media organizations prohibit their employees from running for office. She didn't seem to understand and was more interested in getting a contract," he recalled. "She was more concerned about getting a TV deal than winning office.

She had a delusional, inflated view of her national significance.

Several former aides said that as the Republican National Convention approached, O'Donnell became convinced she could land the coveted role as keynote speaker — the speech was ultimately delivered by former New York City mayor and presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani — and booked an expensive trip to St. Paul on that premise.


She wasted money in other ways as well, as demonstrated by one ill-conceived fund-raiser.

At one point in 2008, the candidate traveled to California for a luncheon fund-raiser organized by a friend in Los Angeles. [David] Keegan, [who served as O'Donnell's financial officer], said in addition to spending $3,000 on a trip for herself and two aides, the event itself failed to yield more than a few hundred dollars in contributions.


And although it was actually kind of a clever way for a long-shot candidate to get some attention, aides resented O'Donnell's insistence on distributing thousands of packets of suntan lotion to voters.


As the campaign entered the summer season, staff was instructed to compile a 10-page document examining how the distribution of tens of thousands of two-ounce suntan lotion packets could shake up the race, according to several members of O'Donnell's 2008 team.

O'Donnell's idea: To affix a clever slogan to packets that read: "Don't Get Burned By Higher Taxes. Vote Christine O'Donnell 2008" and distribute them at local parades. ...

When aides told O'Donnell it was a bad idea and that the cash-poor campaign should conserve its resources for more practical items like signs and bumper stickers, Moore recalled, "She didn't take too kindly to that."

"It was an irresponsible idea," said [Keegan]. “And half the people in the street thought she was throwing condoms out of the truck.”

In all fairness, though, voters should have known that condoms are literally the last thing O'Donnell would ever throw from a truck.

Christine O'Donnell criticized by former aides [Politico]