Last night, the most coveted endorsement in the Republican presidential primary was secured by Mitt Romney.
Ending months of intense speculation, Tea Party diva and thrice-failed Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell threw her support behind the former Massachusetts Governor’s bid to secure the nomination on the Sean Hannity Show.
O’Donnell’s endorsement follows a national listening tour that apparently drew crowds of, in at least one instance, a dozen people–if her father and her staff are included. Participants had to sign a confidentiality and nondisclosure agreement before being admitted to the secret sessions at which O’Donnell sought advice from her legion of fans and supporters on who to endorse. The tour included stops in Florida and Iowa, but apparently skipped southern Delaware, the region primarily responsible for her 2010 primary upset of Representative Mike Castle.
One would think Mitt Romney would distance himself from any association with the toxic and troubled O’Donnell, but such isn’t the case. Instead, Romney welcomed O’Donnell’s announcement with the following statement: “Christine has been a leader in the conservative movement for many years. Christine recognizes that excessive government threatens us now and threatens future generations, and I am pleased to have her on my team.” Romney was silent about what O’Donnell’s role on his “team” will be- perhaps they have an opening for a sorcerer, a magician, or an expert on the perils of human-mice hybridization? Or perhaps he’s pegged her as a political advertising consultant?
We’ve come a long way from the days when Ronald Reagan dodged an endorsement by the John Birch Society by famously quipping “they are accepting my philosophy, I’m not accepting theirs.” In this respect, the promotion and legitimization of “leaders” like O’Donnell by conservative entertainers and politicians such as Hannity and Romney highlights the fundamental problem facing today’s GOP. We don’t stand up to crazy, we embrace it.
I studied hard in college, went to law school, and have always tried to inform myself about important issues so that I’d have the ability to participate in a meaningful and substantive way in our national discussion.
Apparently I was a fool.
I’d be on Hannity right now too if I had mastered the art of saying goofy and ridiculous things, with conviction, on television.