In a new ad, Delaware Republican senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell begins her address to viewers by assuring them that she is not -- despite her admission in the late 1990s to talk show host Bill Maher that she had "dabbled into witchcraft" -- an actual witch.
"I'm not a witch," a bemused O'Donnell says, looking into the camera. "I'm nothing you've heard. I'm you."
O'Donnell's attempt to distance herself from her past by directly confronting the controversy in an ad is something of a gamble. Given that she was the one to bring the subject of witchcraft up in the first place, it may seem a tad odd to voters to hear her laughing off the matter.
In fact, self-inflicted wounds are largely the story of her general election campaign. Whether she's discussing the evils of masturbation, the dubious merits of satanic altars as a spot for a first date, her belief that evolution is a myth or her desire to stop America from having sex, O'Donnell has left in her wake a voluminous trail of video clips that would be enough to sink almost any mortal candidate.
People do change, of course, and with her new ad, O'Donnell is putting forth an effort to assure Delaware's undecided voters that she has done so in just the right ways.