Your Donations to Carly Fiorina and Christine O'Donnell Were Put to Good Use

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 3 2010 2:36 PM

Your Donations to Carly Fiorina and Christine O'Donnell Were Put to Good Use

Carly Fiorina and Christine O'Donnell were both endorsed by Sarah Palin, both profiled relentlessly, and both given enough campaign funds to make serious runs at blue state Senate seats. And both did things that are going to irritate the Republicans who supported them. The LA Times reports that Fiorina, who has substantial personal wealth, padded a $5.5 million loan to herself made during her contested primary with a $1 million loan made during the general election. But the second loan was "paid back before the end of the campaign." Keep in mind: the National Republican Senatorial Committee poured money into that race in the final weeks, including a $2 million buy in the last days.

Shira Topelitz has the details on O'Donnell . Before she won her primary in Delaware, conservative opponents pointed out that O'Donnell, who had run twice for U.S. Senate before, had burned several former staffers who were not paid for their services. The knock on O'Donnell was that, in lieu of a stable career, she was making a living as a perennial candidate. Lo and behold: She ended her 2010 bid with $924,800 in her campaign war chest. That's about 13 percent of the money she raised for her entire campaign. The defense from O'Donnell campaign manager Matt Moran:

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Moran argued that O’Donnell did "more than" its part for the "greater good" for Republicans this cycle because her candidacy diverted media attention from other GOP candidates who might not have stood up to intense scrutiny, had there been any to spare.
Funny enough, that's what Democrats started to think of the Delaware race by the end. By election day, Republicans didn't really expect to win either race. (They were hopeful about California, but less so as the day approached.) But Fiorina and O'Donnell ended the campaigns with substantial stardom and support. Fiorina is talked about as a candidate to run the California GOP ; O'Donnell is keynoting a Virginia Tea Party banquet next week.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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