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In a sign that does not bode well for the GOP Establishment in the aftermath of the election — and possibly before it — the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee (NRSC) is said to be deliberately undercutting the Senate campaign of Christine O’Donnell in Delaware.
When Sean Hannity asked O’Donnell herself about this on his Thursday radio show she was frank, saying the NRSC was not being a player in her campaign. She specifically cited support from the Republican National Committee and Senators Jim DeMint (SC) and Lamar Alexander (TN) as a contrast.
It sure sounds like deliberate NRSC sabotage of a Tea Party favorite.
One source says the NRSC is sitting on $6 million in reserves for Marco Rubio — whose campaign is far out in front of the Bobby Kennedy Jr.-endorsed Charlie Crist — when the money could easily be used for Delaware independent expenditures defining O’Donnell opponent Chris Coons. Coons, of course, is the high-tax liberal profiled here for his addiction to liberation theology, the interestingly exotic values of Yale Divinity School and the fact that 12 major groups endorsing him also signed on to co-sponsor a Washington rally with the Communist Party USA and ANSWER, a left-wing radical group that supports the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah.
O’Donnell’s blunt spoken acknowledgement on-air to Hannity that the NRSC — which had whispered anti-O’Donnell sentiments to Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron within minutes of her convincing win over GOP Establishment favorite Congressman Mike Castle — is stunning for its frankness. And symbolic of the problems that lie ahead for the GOP when the election is over.
Anyone familiar with the operation of the GOP’s Senate and House campaign committees understands that one of the ways the Establishment expresses its displeasure with candidates it doesn’t like is to cut the money and resource supply to a trickle. This is, according to several sources, precisely what is being done to O’Donnell.
Also targeted for displeasure by several sources is American Crossroads, the group associated with Karl Rove. Rove memorably appeared on Hannity’s TV show election night and dredged up some of the seamier gossip about O’Donnell. “They’re saying Obama’s attacks on Rove just raised them an extra $14 million,” said one irate source close to O’Donnell. “OK fine. Where are the IE [independent expenditure] commercials here?” The same source wondered aloud about “pride and jealousy” being displayed over the fact that O’Donnell was given no chance to win the primary — and then promptly thrashed Castle and the Delaware GOP establishment behind him.
Also the focus of O’Donnell critics is Michael Toner, an outside counsel to NRSC chair Senator John Cornyn of Texas. The theory is that Toner, also a Rove associate, is using his clout with Cornyn to strangle the NRSC help for O’Donnell on Rove’s behalf.
No matter the results on election day, the defiant unwillingness of the GOP Establishment to help O’Donnell — and accompanying behind-the-scenes attacks on South Carolina Jim DeMint — will be seen as examples of a GOP Establishment intensely devoted to promoting a Big Government-lite agenda and losing the 2012 campaign to Obama with yet another losing moderate nominee in the mold of Ford, Bush Sr., Dole, and McCain — or an unnecessarily close winning campaign as in 2000 and 2004.
There is infinitely more going on in the Delaware race here than meets the eye. This is but a whisper of the behind-the-scenes struggle looming between the Republican Establishment and the Reagan wing of the party.
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