The XX Factor

Is This Piece on Christine O’Donnell Fair?

I can’t decide whether the problem with this piece in the Daily Beast is one of conception or execution, and if execution, if it’s merely a matter of tone. But the totality of this look at Christine O’Donnell from the viewpoint of her neighbors is, well-you read it and tell me what you think. If you’re someone who previously felt that Christine O’Donnell was not your cup of tea, and in reading this you actually find yourself a little sympathetic to the GOP nominee for Senate in Delaware, that may speak for itself. (Disclosure: I briefly worked with the author of this piece at the Washington Post .)

She doted on her cats, but was not always fastidious about her housekeeping, according to neighborhood gossip passed along by her former housekeeper, Pam. She feuded bitterly with the woman next door. And, neighbors couldn’t help but note, for a candidate who’s been so vocally opposed to any pre-marital sexual activity, O’Donnell had frequent overnight visits from her boyfriend Brent…


She once left soup on the stove and started a fire, [neighbor Kathleen] Benedetto said. She used to miss the trash can when she disposed of her cat litter, leaving a mess on the porch. Most gallingly, in the neighbor’s view, O’Donnell had frequent visitors, “and the walls upstairs are very thin.”

Both Benedetto and another neighbor who asked to have her name withheld said they saw O’Donnell lounging, clothed, with a man on top of her, on O’Donnell’s bright yellow and orange flowered couch.

Photograph of Christine O’Donnell by Getty Images.