Christine O'Donnell No Oxford Alumna

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Since winning the GOP Senate nomination in Delaware earlier this month, Christine O'Donnell has been denounced by the Republican establishment and been forced to clarify that she is not, in fact, a practicing witch. Could things get any worse for the Tea Party favorite? In the wake of a new discrepancy unearthed by the Washington Post regarding O'Donnell's LinkedIn resume (specifically her claims she studied at Oxford and Claremont College; the schools say she was never enrolled), the answer seems to be yes. Around the Internet, her plight failed to elicit much sympathy.

  • Troubling Pattern The new revelations mark the third and fourth charge of resume padding leveled against O'Donnell (she long claimed to hold a degree from Farleigh Dickinson despite only graduating last summer and was forced to clarify a Weekly Standard article which said she was studying for a Master's at Princeton), allegations Hot Air's Diane Suffern argues are particularly damaging in light of O'Donnell's efforts to brand herself as a straight-talking political outsider. "Once is misspeaking," writes Suffern, "twice is an odd coincidence. (Kindly, please don't do it again, Ms. O'Donnell.) Three times is clearly an issue. Four? That's a pattern indicative of character and for someone with no record, we have only her character to recommend her."
  • Turning Off The Base Newsweek's Ben Adler believes the story will be particularly damaging given the anti-elitist tenor of the modern GOP. Writes Adler:
Pretending that you took courses at Princeton or Oxford when you did not, and you are many years past college-age, demonstrates that you think having done so is really a necessary credential. Aside from the sheer patheticness of such insecurity, it is the ultimate reification of the elitist idea that middle-aged adults should continue to define themselves by the academic credentials they obtained in their youth and that the best schools are old, expensive institutions that started out only allowing only white Christian males to attend.
  • Parsing O'Donnell's clarification that her Oxford course was actually a "Phoenix Institute" class on "Post Modernism in the New Millenium" that was just held in an Oxford classroom isn't winning over New York magazine's Dan Amira. "So," Amira writes, "she didn't actually take an Oxford University class, she took a Phoenix Institute class that was held in a building owned by Oxford University. That is basically just as impressive though. Oxford!"
  • Easy Fix The Guardian's Michael Tomasky says there's an easy way to check O'Donnell's claim she took a course called Post Modernism in the New Millenium. Offers Tomasky, "If she's really a postmodernist worth her salt, she'll be able to explain that the term University of Oxford is just socially constructed anyway."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.