Sarah Palin has endorsed insurgent Tea Party candidate Christine O'Donnell for Delaware's Senate GOP primary. The move, announced on Sean Hannity's radio show, defies the wishes of Delaware's GOP leadership, who support moderate Republican Mike Castle. It's also seen as a risky endorsement, since Castle is expected to win. The move has divided conservative pundits on the Web.
- Good Endorsement, Castle Should Go, writes Doug Ross: "Imagine you're putting together a football team. You've got an experienced, veteran receiver who, no matter what you do, runs the wrong pattern 50% of the time. It's hard to have a cohesive team with that kind of person playing a key role. Mike Castle is just that sort of rogue player. He's wearing the wrong uniform. If he wants to help out the other team, he should put on the other jersey. And the Senate is too small a group, each member is too important, to gave a seat to another unprincipled, lifetime political hack."
- O'Donnell's Gay-Baiting Disappoints Me, writes Erick Erickson at Redstate: "If Christine O'Donnell wins it'll be inspite of the help she has gotten. What has ultimately set me off is the 'Mike Castle is gay' stuff, which is nothing more than the Will Folks hour come to Delaware. The failure of the O'Donnell campaign to deal swiftly with this tells me all I need to know... I don't care if Mike Castle is meeting up with Larry Craig at Stallknockers.com for some Union Station visitation -- without proof it is meaningless and even with proof it is a distraction from the issues and not helpful to tea party activists or Christine O'Donnell. It's amateur hour."
- Castle Has Been Slow on the Attack, He Could Lose, writes W. James Antle at The American Spectator: "Castle is starting to channel McCain: attack your conservative primary opponent often (O'Donnell hasn't exactly been a shrinking violet either). But unlike McCain, he did not do so early. It's not clear whether he'll be able to define her as effectively as McCain defined J.D. Hayworth. And while being aggressive is important, it can only get you so far -- just ask Trey Grayson, the man who lost to Rand Paul. Basically, Castle's strongest argument is that he can win in November."
- The Weekly Standard, Won't Like This, writes Dave Weigel at Slate, referring to the conservative magazine: "If you're keeping score, yes, Palin has now endorsed a candidate who was pummeled by Bill Kristol's Weekly Standard. Somebody's going to get embarrassed, right?"
- Don't Write Off O'Donnell, writes Jim Geraghty at National Review: "O'Donnell's history as a candidate offers a few reasons for optimism. In 2006, in her first bid for the U.S. Senate, she won 2,505 votes in the GOP primary against two other opponents. After the primary loss, she ran as a write-in candidate and won 11,127 votes, a pretty astounding total for that difficult method of running. The following year she won the Senate nomination at the state party convention with 60.7 percent of the vote, just over the 60 percent requirement. In the general election, her 132,942 votes were more than the GOP nominee for governor, but less than the GOP candidates for lieutenant governor and state insurance commissioner."
- Don't Downplay This Endorsement, writes Allahpundit at Hot Air: "Guy Benson wonders how valuable this endorsement really is given that hardcore Palin fans were already surely planning to vote for O'Donnell next week. The value, I think, is purely in the buzz it'll generate, which will catch the attention of conservatives who aren't necessarily hardcore Palin fans but also, until now, weren't paying close attention to the race. High turnout among righties is Castle's biggest nightmare and this can only help in that regard."