The Republican congressman did not seem upset, however, when O’Donnell undertook to challenge Senator Biden in 2008, which in an election year that also had Biden as the vice presidential nominee of the Democrat Party, made him a prohibitive favorite. O’Donnell still managed to get 35 percent of the vote in that election. Christine O’Donnell has three times challenged powerful Delaware politicians in seeking to represent Delaware in the Senate: Castle in 2010, Biden in 2008, and Carper (Senator and former Governor) in 2006. At a time when Americans seem unhappier than ever, O’Donnell seems to truly challenge the status quo.
Castle, however, has been an elected official continuously for the last 44 years, serving first in the Delaware House of Representatives, then the Delaware State Senate, then as lieutenant governor, then as governor and, since 1992, as U.S. representative. What, precisely, does Castle plan to offer if he mounts a write-in campaign? “New ideas” would not seem to be on the list: He has already served in five different elected offices and no great reforms have attached to his name.
Mike Castle seems to have the (Alaska Senator) “Lisa Murkowski” or (Florida Governor) “Charlie Crist” syndrome: Run in the Republican primary, lose in a fair fight, and then decline to endorse the candidate who defeats you. His endorsement could help O’Donnell win — she is within striking distance now — but his pique at losing a primary election seems to have overwhelmed any stronger instincts. He summed up his feelings this way — the electoral defeat left him “hurt and stung.” One might have hoped that someone who has been given so many offices by the people, with attendant honors and perks, could have responded to defeat with more grace and dignity.