Christine O'Donnell Looks to Improve Her Image

Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell speaks to her supporters after she won the Delaware U.S. Senate primary against Rep. Mike Castle on September 14, 2010 in Dover, Delaware. Getty Images/Mark Wilson

Christine O'Donnell
Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell speaks to her supporters after she won the Delaware U.S. Senate primary against Rep. Mike Castle on September 14, 2010 in Dover, Delaware.
Getty Images/Mark Wilson

Delaware's Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell has become the latest in a line of conservative candidates (among them Sarah Palin) who are shaking up the GOP establishment. 

O'Donnell, who was slated to appear on CBS News' Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer  on Sunday but cancelled the appearance, is now focused on improving her image, tweaking her positions and updating her web site.

"It's no secret that there's been a rather unflattering portrait of me painted these days," O'Donnell said during her face off with Democratic rival Chris Coons Thursday. 

She has been criticized by both the Democrat and Republican establishment for her past, which includes a trail of unpaid bills, defaulting on her mortgage and using campaign funds for personal expenses, as well as making questionable statements such as "American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains."

O'Donnell was asked on CBS News' "The Early Show" Tuesday whether voters could trust her with the nation's finances when she's appears to have had some significant financial problems herself. She said, "All of those accusations are addressed on my website, christine2010.com. And when the question of financial responsibility comes into question, you have to look at how I handled those financial difficulties."

Her Senate campaign web site addressing the accusations has gone underground, however, replaced soley by a web solicitation for donations.

The more informational part of the web site will likely come back with some her more controversial positions tweaked, with some of her past positions moderated for the general election. (She does have a Twitter feed.)

When asked Thursday about the role of government regulation in private sexual behavior, in reference to her 1996 comments condemning masterbation, O'Donnell said her statement was due to a youthful embrace of newfound faith.

"I assure you, my faith has matured. When I go to Washington, D.C., it'll be the Constitution on which I base all of my decisions, not my personal beliefs." The most recent Rasmussen Report poll gives Democrat Chris Coons an 11 point lead over O'Donnell in the general election fight.


Daniel Farber is editor-in-chief of CBSNews.com. You can read more of his posts in Hotsheet here. You can also follow him on Twitter.
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