David Frum

04.13.12

Christine O'Donnell Haunts Romney's Campaign

An eyewitness account of a Mitt Romney rally in Delaware notes a shout-out to Christine O'Donnell—and a snub of former governor Mike Castle and Romney's own chief organizer in the state, Greg Lavelle:

[Romney] stood at his event, staged in Wilmington in the gritty, cavernous work space at RC Fabricators, which puts up steel structures, and out of 600 or so people there, he singled out O'Donnell, prominently standing to his side.

Romney did not publicly recognize the presence of Mike Castle, the past governor and congressman who lost that infamous primary to O'Donnell. A past governor! In his own state! Nor did Romney bother to mention Greg Lavelle, the state representative who is his chief organizer here. (Lavelle got a better billing when he graciously welcomed Newt Gingrich two weeks ago.)

"I see one of my supporters over here, Christine O'Donnell. I didn't know you were going to be here," Romney said.

If Romney did not know, it is a marvel, because O'Donnell was the cause of furious behind-the-scenes maneuvering beforehand. Republicans who do not want to knock their all-but-certain nominee publicly are railing privately that Romney's campaign originally planned to have her introduce him, but party leaders went ballistic and had it stopped. Still, she got her moment.