O’Donnell’s Lies Ramp Up To… More Lies


Oh, O'Donnell...

Christine O’Donnell: Emerging Tea Partyist? Check. Current Republican nominee for Delaware Senate seat? Check. CGU alumna? Not so much. But she sure wishes.

After a LinkedIn profile linked to O’Donnell’s name was exposed as claiming that she received her undergraduate degree from Oxford University when, in fact, the politician graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson College (this September, nonetheless), candidate O’Donnell’s lies (or, at least, those closely linked to her) have been uncovered once again. News leaked this week that O’Donnell’s LinkedIn additionally proclaimed the politician to have received a graduate degree from our very own Claremont Graduate University.

In truth, O’Donnell’s credentials end with her B.A., which she did not officially receive until a month ago for financial reasons.

Let’s just stop here for a minute to recognize one thing: all schools keep records. After verification from CGU that there exists “no student or education record for an individual named Christine O’Donnell,” the candidate denied ever creating the LinkedIn profile, which has since been deleted.

“This [accusation of creating the profile] is categorically untrue. I never established a LinkedIn profile, or authorized anyone to do soon my behalf,” said O’Donnell to reporters last Wednesday. “I have always been clear about my educational background.”

A second blow of evidence disproving O’Donnell arose soon after this statement when her lie regarding her graduation from Oxford was also found published on the candidate’s ZoomInfo profile, of which she had previously admitted authorship.

Though O’Donnell did not attend CGU, she did work as a Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute, a conservative think tank entirely unaffiliated with the graduate school, in 2002. Included in her resume was a statement that she had attended Oxford.

For those who have closely followed O’Donnell’s previous campaigning techniques, you will notice that this is not the first time she has heaped the blame on someone else when stuck with bad publicity (in her defense, she’s a politician. Lying about one’s background is a right of passage for those guys). In her race for Senate in 2008, O’Donnell attempted to suffocate opponent Joe Biden by claiming that he had been tapping her phones, an accusation that eventually fell through. O’Donnell went on to lose that election with 35% of the vote. Perhaps her stance on hot topics like homosexuality, religion, and the economy had something to do with that.

Realistically, lying in politics is not a huge deal – people do it all the time and don’t even get caught. But when something as huge as lying about one’s education gets out this close to elections, one can’t help but wonder: what’s going to happen to O’Donnell now? Is her race simply over, or is her opponent’s platform too far left to swing the vote?

As of Tuesday morning, O’Donnell was running 15-16 points behind Democratic opponent Chris Coons.

“I think she is going to disappear from the public’s radar screen quite quickly after the election. Wishful thinking, perhaps,” says Jean Schroedel, Dean of the School of Politics and Economics at CGU.

As for CGU students themselves, few are even aware that O’Donnell has claimed herself to be one among them.

“The basic bottom line…is that very few people at CGU even know she is claiming a link with us—most, if they knew…would be appalled,” says Schroedel.

Though CGU never saw O’Donnell set foot on campus, great political names have received degrees from our beloved graduate institution in the past and will continue to do so in the future. Congresswoman Diane Watson, congressman David Dreier, and former California State Senator Jack Scott, all CGU alumnus, have set big footprints for their political contemporaries like O’Donnell. A desire to achieve equal political success is the best thought process I can muster for O’Donnell on this one.

In the end, this seems to be all bad for O’Donnell. When stacked on top of her stance as an extremely new and certainly radical political face, this bag of blatant lies was simply a poor career move that may cost the candidate some serious brownie points with voters.

Anna Pickrell, a staff writer for the Claremont Port Side, is a freshman at Scripps College. She is from Moraga, California, just outside of San Francisco, and though she loves Claremont she is ultimately partial to Norcal, largely due to its use of the word “hella” as a way of life. When not writing she enjoys impersonating Liz Lemon, wishing she could be more like Veronica Mars, and lamenting over Newsweek's imminent bankruptcy.

6 Responses to “O’Donnell’s Lies Ramp Up To… More Lies”

  1. JD says:

    Hi… nice piece. If you ever decide to come back to Moraga, do look us up! We’re looking for more good writers to cover the home front.

    All best,

    JD O’Connor

  2. JD says:

    Hi… nice piece. If you ever decide to make it back to Moraga please let us know as we’re looking to hire more top notch reporters.

    All best,

    J.D. O’Connor
    Lamorinda Patch

  3. Factchecking says:

    She did not work as a Lincoln Fellow. The Lincoln Fellows don’t work.

  4. Jim Busse says:

    By the time you posted this, O’Donnell had already exposed the linked in bio as fake. I went to CGS way back when and learned that it pays to do a bit of research before writing anything. I hope my old school hasn’t devolved too much and that your article is not typical of the current crop of students. I don’t expect you to apologize or correct your sorry piece of work either. From the prose I can tell you write from the feeling side of your brain not the logic side. The feeling side of one’s brain also contains things like narcissism, jealousy, and conceit. Good luck in your studies I hope you learn something before you graduate and look for a real job.

  5. Julia says:

    Jim-I find your comment a little rude and condescending. While it is true that O’Donnell has since denied creating that Linkdin profile, that is not the same as “exposing it as fake”. The educational misrepresentations made in the Linkdin profile are consistent with exaggerations O’Donnell has made in other instances, a fact which the author of this piece highlights. Furthermore, that the O’Donnell’s spokesperson initially answered all questions relating to the profile as though it belonged to O’Donnell does not help the campaigns credibility. Several “real” newspapers (including the New York Times and the Washington Post) have also published pieces that are highly skeptical of O’Donnell’s denial of guilt.

    This is obviously an opinion piece, and doesn’t pretend to be anything else. Regardless, its excellently done, and doesn’t deserve your name calling or snide comments.

  6. Jim Pusse says:

    Wow, Jim. Way to insult somebody more than half your age! Classy!

    O’Donnell is awesome. Her performance today was astonishingly poor. She actually makes Palin look bright.

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