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Christine O'Donnell Turns Political Celebrity on Leno

Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell AP/Rob Carr AP Photo/Rob Carr

Christine O'Donnell may have lost the Delaware senate race on Nov. 2, but she hasn't lost her political celebrity status. Instead of preparing to represent her state in Washington, she was on the talk show circuit, joining Jay Leno on Wednesday's "Tonight Show".

It's not exactly the same Christine O'Donnell who spent a large part of her campaign fending off questions about her finances and controversial statements she made on on Bill Maher's program about masturbation and dabbling in witchcraft. During the campaign, O'Donnell tried to distance herself from her earlier comments, anddebate the merits of the Constitution. She ended up earning 40 percent of the Delaware senate vote compared to 57 percent for Democratic winner Chris Coons.

Leno asked O'Donnell about her future plans, and if she might run for public office again.

"I don't know if I will run again. I want to keep that option open," she said.

O'Donnell said she isn't interested in returning to the talk show circuit she frequented in the past. "I did the pundit thing, and that's what got me into trouble in the first place."

She said she regretted that her controversial comments overshadowed what she was trying to convey on the campaign trail. She maintained that she was a "kid" in the '90s, when the comments were made.

''It was a ministry opportunity, more than a political statement," she said of her former talk show days.

Like her role model Sarah Palin, O'Donnell is considering a book deal and reality show offers.

"I'm not necessarily interested in a reality show," she said, unless the show dealt with issues that impact peoples' lives, such as the 30-minute ad her campaign produced. She specifically mentioned her opposition to the "death tax," the estate tax that will likely be reinstated January 21, 2011.

Leno asked O'Donnell about her family (she is part Italian and her mother is a Democrat), and spent a portion of the interview asking about her comments on masturbation from a decade ago and her "I am not a witch, I am you" campaign ad (see videos from her "Tonight Show" appearance below). O'Donnell said that she regretted the witch ad.

Leno also asked O'Donnell about GOP rainmaker Karl Rove demeaning her candidacy.

"Karl Rove is not going to be buying me a Maserati in the future," she said,. She said that Mike Castle, the Republican who she defeated in the Delaware Republican primary, and Karl Rove should have endorsed her, as Sarah Palin did.

"She knows the politics of personal destruction," said O'Donnell, referring to Palin and how she defended her against the GOP establishment.

Asked about Palin's presidential aspirations, O'Donnell said, "I like Rudy Guiliani's response...Governor Palin has more executive experience than President Obama."

It's become increasingly difficult to consider Guiliani's statement credible after the last two years Mr. Obama has endured as president.

O'Donnell shared the "Tonight Show" couch with comedian David Spade. In his opening monologue, Leno joked, "we have David Spade and Christine O'Donnell, so we have both sides of the masturbation argument here." He later said, "She's a good sport for coming."

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