Troublemaker: Flipping Through Christine O'Donnell's Book
In her new book, "Troublemaker: Let's Do What It Takes To Make America Great Again" (St. Martin's Press), 2010 Delaware Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell recounts her childhood, her rise through the state political scene, her ill-fated Senate bids and, yes, her "I'm not a witch" television ad.
According to the book jacket, "O'Donnell's message isn't slick and doesn't have to dance between raindrops to keep from offending a big donor. ... Troublemaker is Christine O'Donnell's story, and the story of America today."
The Hotline relied on the time-honored practice of using the "excerpt lottery," in which page numbers are chosen based upon recent winning lottery numbers from various states. The results:
"You might wonder: Why write a book at all? And why now? Well, first and foremost, I'm writing this book because I now have a platform. That's one of the silver linings of all the fanfare that surrounded my race. ... Win or lose, folks seem to want to hear what you have to say -- so here I am, saying it, as long as I have your attention. Not because I'm so full of myself to think I've lived a book-worthy life, nor do I think that the nuts and bolts of my background are of interest to anyone outside my family, my close circle of friends, or my most ardent supporters" -- p. 005 (Ga.'s "Cash 3 Midday," 8/18).
"My heart and my gut and my prayers were all telling me I was meant to buy a house in Delaware" -- p. 133 (La.'s "Pick 3," 8/14).
"What the heck is autotuning?" -- p. 130 (N.J.'s "Pick 3 Midday," 8/17).
"It's not like this waffling is unknown in politics, but usually wafflers ... well they waffle"-- p. 315 (Ga.'s "Cash 3 Evening," 8/12).
"As I looked up from the newspaper for a moment, I made eye contact with the man seated next to me. He smiled and said, 'You read the paper quite passionately.' We both laughed, and struck up a conversation" -- p. 191 (Mass.'s "Numbers Game," 8/17).
"I was going to every chicken barbecue, every Latino festival, every parade" -- p. 0177 (Del.'s "Play 4," 8/9).
"I'd bounce around from the control room to the seat, helping out wherever they needed me ... running the teleprompter at just the right tempo to keep pace with Chairman Barbour's drawl. I remember one time during a live show the teleprompter went down. Unlike our current commander in chief, Haley Barbour didn't miss a beat. Rather he took the opportunity to go off script with memorable phrases like 'We're gonna make the Democrats run like scalded dogs" -- p. 094 (Ga.'s "Cash 3 Evening," 8/13).
"At that time I still wasn't sure I'd go through with it -- in fact more and more I was thinking I was done with politics. I was enjoying my low-maintenance lifestyle. I'd destroyed my credit cards, and was trying to live as frugally and simply as possible. In a way, it was cleansing. I was still going through my audit during this period (part of the cost of doing business as a political challenger in the state of Delaware, I guess). I was meeting regularly with the IRS agent who'd been assigned to my case, and very much mindful that my financial life was no longer my own. Even so, my future opponents saw that I had earned so little that year, they suggested I was holding out" -- p. 182 (Calif.'s "Daily 3 Evening," 8/21).
"In other words, two principles emerge: the freedom food chain and Federalism. Freedoms can only be 'eaten' by freedoms higher on the food chain. You can only suppress freedom in the service of a greater freedom. A government cannot legitimately suppress freedom in service of some other cause, no matter how nice the cause is.
"The more you respect someone, the more you trust his judgment ... and the less likely you are to try to tell him what to do. It would be as absurd as telling Mother Teresa to 'behave herself' on her way out the door, or urging General Patton to 'win one for the Gipper.' ... If we look at humans as God's priceless masterpieces created for earthly greatness and imitation of God, and destined for eternal glory ... well, then we're going to be sure that nothing gets in their way aren't we? Who'd want to micromanage that?" -- p. 299-300 (Md.'s "Pick 3 Midday," 8/22).
"The great lesson of this effort, for me, was twofold: One it almost always pays to think outside the box, because inside the box can be a stuffy, stifling place, where good ideas go to suffocate. And two, it absolutely always pays to stick to your convictions, and your vision. Say what you will about the difficulties Mel Gibson might be experiencing now..." -- p. 0141 (Md.'s "Pick 4 Midday," 8/14).
"I still didn't think of myself as a Republican at this point, but I listened to what this guy had to say -- partly, I'll confess, because he was cute! Our College Republican chapter was putting together a group of students to hand out campaign literature on Election Day. The kicker was we'd get a full day of excused absences -- and seventy-five dollars to boot. I liked the way these College Republicans rolled, so I signed up. Right away, I was glad that I did, because that Election Day was a revelation. I loved talking to people about important issues. I didn't pretend to have all the answers. Heck, I hardly had any answers, but I asked a lot of questions. I was young and completely open about my lack of experience in this arena" -- p. 079 (Wis.'s "Daily 3," 8/20).
"As a side note, let the record show that 'dabbling' means that a subject is 'lightly explored,' with a 'superficial interest.' You wouldn't hire a lawyer who'd dabbled in law school. You wouldn't see a doctor who'd dabbled in medicine. With this definition in mind, the word was exactly right. Dabbled. Lightly explored. That about said it. I never embraced this young man's religion. This was at a time in my life when I was open and curious and searching for meaning and spiritual guidance. And then I moved on" -- p. 018 (Md.'s "Pick 3 Evening," 8/3).