With notable Tea Party primary wins in Delaware and New York last night, there's a question I'm asking myself: what will those candidates do with the parenthetical designation after their names? You know, the (party-state) that's conjoined to a candidate's title in print and on TV.
I think it's a relevant, or at lease interesting, question, especially for Christine O'Donnell in Delaware, where the GOP has enthusiastically abandoned her.
There is no official Tea Party like we have a Republican or Democratic party -- it's more of an idea than it is an actual party; a coalition more than a political organization. So I don't suspect that O'Donnell's new title will be (T-DE), or (TP-DE). And she's not an Independent, so don't expect an (I-DE). So what will happen?
In the end, remember, O'Donnell ran as an anti-establishment Republican. She's a candidate that echoes the sentiments of her potential constituents, or at least the sentiments of potential constituents in her party. And I think that's the answer -- her party is the Republican party; but she is not the Republican party's candidate.
I think she'll keep the (R-DE) designation, and wear it with I-stuck-it-to-them pride, constantly causing the Republican establishment to ask, "what did we do wrong?"