Christine O'Donnell: Not a Witch, but Victim of a Witch Hunt

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

This is the best AP news alert I’ve ever seen:

O’Donnell, you may recall, was the ineffably weird Delaware Tea Party candidate who shocked Representative Mike Castle in the 2010 GOP primary for Senate. Castle, a moderate Republican, seemed like a lock to win the seat formerly held by Vice President Joe Biden. But O’Donnell then went on to lose the general election to Chris Coons, one of the few bright spots for Democrats in an otherwise brutal election.

Her campaign was derailed by, well, many things, including the resurfacing of an old Bill Maher clip in which she said she had “dabbled into witchcraft.” In response, she cut one of the most memorable ads in recent history:

And then comes today’s accusation. In O’Donnell’s defense, anyone who’s read The Crucible knows you don’t actually have to be a witch to be the victim of a witch hunt.