Did Sarah Palin-backed tea party heroine Christine O’Donnell really study at Oxford?
A public LinkedIn profile under her name appears to claim as much. Under the education heading, it lists “Post Modernism in the New Millennium” at the University of Oxford.
O’Donnell… hasn’t yet mentioned an Oxford connection on the campaign trail. So what was the course, and how long ago did she take it? Surge Desk searched Oxford’s course library and did not come across any current class or symposium under this name.
Puzzling! But not to worry, Greg Sargent has figured it out:
Asked to account for the claim about Oxford, Diana Banister, a spokesperson for O’Donnell, told me it was a reference to a certificate she obtained from a course at Oxford overseen by the Phoenix Instutute, which “runs summer seminar programs at universities around the world.” [Note: Not to be confused with the online University of Phoenix, which obviously would not be offering courses on Oxford's or any other campus.]
But Chris Fletcher, who oversaw the Institute’s 2001 Oxford Summer Programme, which included the course O’Donnell took, tells me the course was not overseen by Oxford.
“It wasn’t an official course of Oxford University,” Fletcher said. “It wasn’t sponsored by Oxford University. We rented the space.”
“It was our curriculum, and we did the grades,” Fletcher continued. Fletcher’s conclusion about O’Donnell’s Oxford claim: “It’s misleading.”
So it was all just a wacky misunderstanding! O’Donnell took a summer class on the Oxford University campus, and innocently assumed that that was exactly the same thing as taking a course from Oxford University itself! Anyone could have made the same mistake!
Just like when she claimed that she tried to take master’s degree classes at Princeton (apparently very unsuccessfully, since there’s no record of her having done so), or when she pretended that she had graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson in 1993, when it was more like, well, this summer. Maybe she was trying to make it retroactively true for her Senate run, but that shiny new diploma doesn’t really erase all her years of lying about it before.
And then there’s her apparent use of campaign funds to pay for her food and rent. I mean, aren’t her Tea Party fans supposed to be all about how everyone needs to get a job instead of mooching off of their hard-earned money? Or is that conditional on political affiliation and skin color?
Where I’m going with this is that what’s really going to sink O’Donnell in Delaware – aside from it being a state of mostly sane people – isn’t that she’s a crazy person who opposes sex and masturbation and thinks “Why aren’t monkeys still evolving into humans?” is a killer argument against evolution. It’s that she’s a Sarah Palin-like grifter and Mark “Intelligence Office of the Year” Kirk-like serial exaggerator. She may be able to spin her “dabbling into witchcraft” as an inspiring story of redemption, but only if it actually happened. Has anyone from her high school come forward to corroborate her story? Has anyone interviewed her satanic altar date?
But as sleazy and dishonest as Mark Kirk and all the other Republican liars are, at least none of them ever said this:
IZZARD: What if someone comes to you in the middle of the Second World War and says, ‘do you have any Jewish people in your house?’ and you do have them. That would be a lie. That would be disrespectful to Hitler.
O’DONNELL: I believe if I were in that situation, God would provide a way to do the right thing righteously. I believe that!
MAHER: God is not there. Hitler’s there and you’re there.
O’DONNELL: You never have to practice deception. God always provides a way out.
Lying to save Jews from the Holocaust: Bad. Lying to advance your own political career: Totally cool.