Rove Sees Lesson In Christine O’Donnell’s Loss

Karl Rove says that Christine O’Donnell’s loss in Delaware should be a lesson to conservatives:

“It gave me no pleasure to say that she was unlikely to win,” he said. “But this again provides a lesson. This is a candidate who was right on the issues, but who had mishandled a series of questions brought up by the press.”

I’d also add that nominating an extremely conservative candidate in a state that has been historically Democratic for the past two decades isn’t that great an idea either, even in a year when Republicans are riding a national wave.

FILED UNDER: 2010 Election, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Al says:

    Given that Republicans didn’t learn the lesson in California in 2002, and probably still haven’t even though their gubernatorial candidate lost to Jerry Brown of all people, I have very little faith that the lesson will sink in. Conservative positions and values will still be overly important to too many Republicans in the primaries, much to frustration of the more centrist and “small l” libertarians in the party.

  2. Jack says:

    Well, it depends…

    Is it all about “winning at any and all costs” or is it about giving the voters a choice between principles and ideas?

    Unfortunately, Christine O’Donnell was a poor candidate because some of the principles and ideas she spouted were too extreme. It reminds me of the definition of a political gaffe, “When a politician accidentally speaks the truth.” In this case, she spoke her mind, which most politicians do not do.

    Is that a good thing, or a bad thing? In the case of Christine O’Donnell she came across to many as a nut because of the extreme nature of some of her ideas (at least as stated by her). Would someone who held to principles and ideas closer to what I regard as the GOP mainstream have done better? Probably. Would they have won? Difficult to say.

    I am still troubled by how it is all about winning, though, especially when once a party has won they tend to focus on winning again instead of governing.