How Did Christine O'Donnell's First Debate Go?

Tonight, the entire world was riveted by the latest chapter in a disaster that has unfolded in front of cable news cameras for weeks. Christine O'Donnell's candidacy! Tonight O'Donnell and her Democratic Delaware Senate opponent debated live on CNN.

Unfortunately, CNN cut away mid-debate to show the last of the Chilean miners being rescued. But those viewers for whom a wacky Tea Party candidate with little-to-no-chance of actually winning is more interesting than the miraculous survival of 33 miners trapped underground for weeks still got quite a show.

Democrat Chris Coons, resting on a double-digit lead in the polls, was baldly dominant. Actually, just bald. O'Donnell's strategy was to project radical sympathy with common folks scared of Marxists and their death taxes. Her ignorance on most questions of policy really reinforced her message that, "I'm you." Stupid, idiot you—you who haven't read a newspaper in three years.

When asked what recent Supreme Court decisions she disagreed with, for example, she had no idea: "Um, I'm very sorry, right off the top of my head, I know that there are a lot, but I'll put it up on my website, I promise you." Maybe she could put it up on her Facebook page under "least favorite Supreme Court decisions?" Too bad she didn't just go full Palin and say "all of 'em".

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And then there was an interesting bit of the debate we'll call "Candidates Explain Weird Stuff They Did In the Past." O'Donnell dealt with her past assertion that evolution is a "myth" (""What I believe is irrelevant. What I will support in Washington, D.C., is the ability of the local school district . . . to make the decision.") While Coons was forced to explain why an old article he wrote for his college newspaper in which he jokingly referred to himself as a "bearded Marxist" does not mean Det. O'Donnell had discovered evidence he was a secret Marxist. ("I am not now, nor have ever been, anything but a clean-shaven capitalist.")

Kind of ridiculous, but it did highlight just how much attacks on O'Donnell have focused on weird things she did a while ago. Sure, she maybe dabbled in witchcraft and once denounced masturbation, in the 90s. But watching O'Donnell's performance tonight, equal parts stupid charm and charming ignorance, it was pondering what she might possibly do in the future that really put us off touching ourselves for a while.

[Image via AP]