Is she or isn't she? This is the question across the nation as Christine O'Donnell, Tea Party challenger to Delaware Democrat Chris Coons' Senate seat, equivocates and contradicts her way out of teenage dabblings in witchcraft. Quite a quandary. At first she admitted to the dabbling. Soon after emerged the now-notorious campaign ad in which she said into the camera, "I'm not a witch. I'm nothing you've heard. I'm you." (Are these the two options, she's a magic user or mirror?) The novelty of a politician taking a stand whether they are or aren't they a broom-carrying member of the local coven wore off quickly -or seemed to: this week O'Donnell is back on topic and saying that not only does she regret the ad but, yes, she did dabble. Doesn't mean she'll be dressing up for Halloween, except maybe as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. Ha. That's cute, but the joke's on us: airhead politics, sadly not a novelty, is keeping O'Donnell's name in the media and makes very real the possibility that she will unseat the incumbent. That's sad.
Campaigning in 2008, Barack Obama had a name for this kind of thing: silly season. He was referring to ridiculous attempts by his opponents to focus on superficial details of his background, but the idea here is the same: make enough noise and your recognition factor goes up, regardless of the quality of the racket. Too often voters go with name recognition rather than any true understanding of candidates. Thus the ongoing saturation parade of the likes of O'Donnell will likely prove more effective than Chris Coons' strategy of sitting by. You would almost think he wants to lose his job and be remembered as old what's-his-name. Maybe it's not too late for him to come out as a warlock.