Christine O’Donnell, back in the news this month promoting her new book, is no longer welcome at a Tea Party event with Sarah Palin this weekend.
O’Donnell was set to appear with Palin, who endorsed O’Donnell’s 2010 Senate bid, at a rally in Indianola, IA. But officials at Tea Party of America, which is hosting the event, told the Wall Street Journal on Monday that they were dropping her. While the group’s president cited scheduling problems as the cause, co-founder Charles Gruschow offered a very different explanation: backlash from local Tea Party activists upset over O’Donnell’s inclusion.
“We decided not to have her speak,” Gruschow said. “We felt it was in the best interest of the movement.”
O’Donnell was a brief cause celebre for Tea Party activists in 2010, who helped her defeat heavily favored Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) in a Senate primary before she was trounced in the general election by Democrat Chris Coons. But the magic seems to have faded after her defeat as her much-hyped book has only sold about 2,000 copies.
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Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.