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O’Donnell’s LinkedIn Profile Raises More Questions; UPDATED: Another Site Lists Oxford?

posted at 10:07 am on September 29, 2010 by

Remember those fights on the Right we had over Christine O’Donnell’s candidacy?  It seems so long ago when conservatives who had serious questions about her credibility were put on a RINO purge list.  Ah, well.  Water under the bridge, of course.

Except, she appears to have “enhanced” even more of her school record, and the Left has noticed.

Most are aware of her previous claims of graduating from Fairleigh Dickinson University and attending graduate-level courses at Princeton.  O’Donnell supporters were satisfied with her clarification of owing the school money before she could technically graduate from Fairleigh (receiving her degree only last September).  Her explanation for the reality that she hadn’t attended a single course at Princeton?  Simple mistake.  (I know I mix up my real school history with my fantasies all the time.  In lawsuits.)

Yet, on her LinkedIn profile she also lists Claremont Graduate University and University of Oxford as further educational experience:

Gary Scott, former reporter and producer of To the Point, investigated locally:

The same resume lists O’Donnell as having attended Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California. The claim seemed suspicious since O’Donnell had yet to receive her undergraduate degree, from Farleigh Dickinson University, until last summer. So I asked CGU’s public relations officer, Rod Leveque, if the school had any record of O’Donnell attending classes there. His response:

In short, no. Claremont Graduate University has no student or education record for an individual named Christine O’Donnell.In 2002, O’Donnell was listed as a “Lincoln Fellow” at the Claremont Institute, a conservative think tank also based in Claremont. However, the institute is not affiliated with the Claremont Graduate University or any of the other Claremont Colleges. One of the Claremont Institute’s fellows, Harry Jaffa, did teach at the Claremont Graduate University back when it was known as Claremont Graduate School.

Got that?  Claremont Institute is a think tank, not a graduate school as she claimed.  Quite a difference.

Then there’s Oxford.  The Oxford. Greg Sargent of Washington Post’s Plum Line reports:

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.” The Phoenix Institute defines itself as an institution that runs summer sessions “on three continents” in the quest to answer the question, “What is it to be human?”

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.

“We never represented it as a course run by Oxford University,” Fletcher, who is now an assistant professor of religious studies at Benedictine University in Illinois, told me. Fletcher said the only connection to Oxford is that they rented space there and organized some lectures with “guest lecturers from Oxford and Cambridge” as well as from other institutions.

“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.”

Once is misspeaking.  Twice is an odd coincidence.  (Kindly, please don’t do it again, Ms. O’Donnell.)  Three times is clearly an issue.  But four or more?  That’s a pattern and crosses the threshold into character.  For someone with no record, we have only her character to recommend her.  Because of the high-profile endorsements she garnered, based on said character and her word alone, she’s now linked to both the Tea Party movement and Sarah Palin, among others.  This isn’t okay.

Admittedly, the Delaware primary wasn’t a simple race to parse.  Opinions spanned the gamut with plenty of vitriol on both sides.  Yet, can’t we all agree that her habitual “misspeaking” is, at the very least, a problem?  This isn’t sexism.  This isn’t personal attack.  It’s getting ahead of an issue we wouldn’t even tolerate in moderate Republicans, let alone our opponents on the Left.  Is our new motto “just words, just speeches” at the expense of reality?  Are we changing the rules because she’s “one of our own” and we’re hoping for a win?  Why, that seems remarkably…pragmatic.

For unity!

See Patterico’s related post and other articles on O’Donnell here.

UPDATE:  LinkedIn profile is fake?  Katrina Trinko at NRO posted this statement from the O’Donnell campaign:

There have been reports that I have released false information on a LinkedIn profile under my name.  This is categorically untrue.  I never established a LinkedIn profile, or authorized anyone to do so on my behalf.  I have always been clear about my educational background.  I completed undergraduate work at Fairleigh Dickenson University.  After my undergraduate work, I completed a summer program run by the Phoenix Institute, at the Institute’s Oxford University location.  The Institute runs programs around the world at various universities, and participants study issues of human dignity.  I also completed a Lincoln Fellowship at the Claremont Institute in Claremont, CA.   We would encourage LinkedIn to remove this profile.

Trinko also quotes Greg Sargent’s response to statement:

As the person who first reported yesterday on the Oxford claim on O’Donnell’s LinkedIn profile, let me be clear: I asked O’Donnell’s spokesperson, Diane Banister, for comment on the profile’s Oxford claim last Friday. Banister never once claimed the profile wasn’t put up by O’Donnell. Indeed, in response to my inquiry, Banister justified the claim on the LinkedIn profile by pointing to O’Donnell’s stint at Phoenix University.

Nor did O’Donnell’s spox dispute that the LinkedIn profile was hers when I again emailed her yesterday to let her know I was close to publishing.

Interesting.


UPDATE: Greg Sargent at WaPo reports LinkedIn’s response to O’Donnell:

LinkedIn has now responded to Christine O’Donnell’s claim that she had no role in posting her online bio, which falsely claimed she studied at Oxford. But right now, LinkedIn says, it’s not yet in a position to determine whether or not O’Donnell is telling the truth.

“We have taken the profile down. That’s all we are confirming,” LinkedIn spokesperson Shannon Stubo emailed me. “It was taken down in response to Christine O’Donnell’s request. This is not an acknowledgment that the profile was fake.”

To reiterate: O’Donnell’s campaign spokesperson didn’t indicate that the profile was unauthorized when I contacted her for comment last week, or when I contacted her yesterday before publishing.

UPDATE:  Patterico notes here:

Since O’Donnell says the LinkedIn page was not created by her, or anyone acting at her direction, it’s time we uncovered the imposter.  Someone has gone to great lengths to build a lengthy, mostly accurate profile of Ms. O’Donnell, which included subtle puffery about her educational background.  Assuming this person is not Ms. O’Donnell, this is a clever plot, as it feeds into the narrative that she has previously fibbed about her education. If we take Ms. O’Donnell at her word, then whoever perpetrated this travesty is likely an identity thief out to destroy Ms. O’Donnell’s reputation. I assume we all agree that this person must be exposed.

How the imposter got O’Donnell’s spokespeople to initially react as though the profile was hers, I’m not sure. It just goes to show that his or her access to Ms. O’Donnell may be more intimate than anyone imagines.

Meanwhile, O’Donnell’s imposter had 84 connections on her LinkedIn page (which has now been deleted — but don’t worry, there are screengrabs all over the Internet and the cache is still alive here). Perhaps one of those people managed to communicate with the imposter. These communications might reveal something about the imposter’s identity.

84 connections.

He’s right, of course.  If someone is fraudulently creating highly-detailed, favorable social networking sites for active politicians, this could be a criminal offense and the perpetrator should face charges. I urge both O’Donnell and LinkedIn to file a report and cooperate with law enforcement immediately.  This is tantamount to identity theft and certainly qualifies as cyber crime and all of us should be concerned.  We’re all Christine O’Donnell now!


UPDATE: Jeez.  Another site lists University of Oxford as part of her educational record (though manages to get the Claremont Institute right).  h/t Patterico and Ben Smith.

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Cute.

Hey, remember this?

“So what if O’D is unelectable or dishonest. It’s better for a marxist to win the seat than that filthy stinking RINO, Castle. Eff pragmatism over party purity!”

Just wondering.

Bee on September 30, 2010 at 8:31 PM

Cute, maybe. True, most definitely. But what about Castle? Did you ever investigate his every word for possible misrepresentations? I don’t recall.

ddrintn on September 30, 2010 at 8:33 PM

Come off it. The entire post is dripping with Schadenfreude.

ddrintn on September 30, 2010 at 8:27 PM

Hm. Could be right.

Definitely have an issue with the those who unfairly maligned O’D detractors. If there is any “schadenfreude” it might be toward them…but those who solidly supported O’D yet respectfully debated the rest of us, no. I wish no ill will.

Honestly.

Bee on September 30, 2010 at 8:41 PM

I still have to ask, did you ever spend as much energy examining Castle’s 40-year political career and writings and words for something that could be less than honest? Or was it that Castle was “electable” and therefore not worthy of close examination? Or Coons, for that matter. But it’s much more fun and profitable to stick a finger in the eyes of those poor befuddled O’Donnell worshipers. Yeah.

ddrintn on September 30, 2010 at 8:44 PM

ddrintn on September 30, 2010 at 8:44 PM

Castle’s record alone was enough to indict him. Since Christine has nothing but her word and character to recommend her, that’s what we’re discussing.

Bee on September 30, 2010 at 9:03 PM

Castle’s record alone was enough to indict him. .

Bee on September 30, 2010 at 9:03 PM

Yeah, which is what all those foaming-at-the-mouth O’Donnell-worshiping teabaggers were saying all along. The thing is, if Castle had won they probably would have shut up about him already, unless and until he cast in with the Dems on some big vote. O’Donnell wins, and we still get Democrat-style opposition research from putative conservatives who can’t let it go.

ddrintn on September 30, 2010 at 9:13 PM

ddrintn on September 30, 2010 at 9:13 PM

You’re talking to a tea-bagger, friend. :)

Bee on September 30, 2010 at 9:17 PM

You’re talking to a tea-bagger, friend. :)

Bee on September 30, 2010 at 9:17 PM

Cool. Then maybe we can see your investigation on Coons next.

ddrintn on September 30, 2010 at 9:27 PM

Come off it. The entire post is dripping with Schadenfreude.

ddrintn on September 30, 2010 at 8:27 PM

Yeah…over fanatical O’Donnell supporters, not O’Donnell herself. Blind, unquestioning worship of a political candidate is always frightening, and when the facts start unraveling their fervor, it’s quite satisfying to watch.

Diane’s a sharpie, pal. Don’t underestimate her.

MadisonConservative on September 30, 2010 at 9:34 PM

Yeah…over fanatical O’Donnell supporters, not O’Donnell herself. Blind, unquestioning worship of a political candidate is always frightening, and when the facts start unraveling their fervor, it’s quite satisfying to watch.

MadisonConservative on September 30, 2010 at 9:34 PM

Straw men are also quite satisfying.

ddrintn on September 30, 2010 at 9:41 PM

Diane’s a sharpie, pal. Don’t underestimate her.

MadisonConservative on September 30, 2010 at 9:34 PM

Greeeeeat. Her dissection of Chris Coons should be a stunner then.

ddrintn on September 30, 2010 at 9:42 PM

Straw men are also quite satisfying.

ddrintn on September 30, 2010 at 9:41 PM

There’s no straw men to be seen when you’ve been accused of working for the Coons campaign by more people than you can count.

MadisonConservative on October 1, 2010 at 12:18 AM

Fake. The spokesperson hadn’t seen the fake or had time to review it, so she answered poorly. She should have said, “I’ll have to review the contents of that and check with Ms. O’Donnell on the source of that page.”

I can make a fake profile for anybody. Neither of those sites require photo ID or any other piece of ID to confirm the person creating the site is really the person the site is about.

I don’t understand though. If O’Donnell is going to get trounced, why go to this trouble?

PastorJon on October 1, 2010 at 12:33 AM

PastorJon on October 1, 2010 at 12:33 AM

Fake? And how in the hell do you know that? O’Donnell set up another site where she makes the same false claims about her education. The website owners won’t deny that it was made by O’Donnell. Why not? Because she made it. You picked a lying loser of a candidate and now you scream “fake!!!!1111″ when the truth is being brought out into the light.

If O’Donnell is going to get trounced, why go to this trouble?

You answered your own question. She’s being trounced because she’s morally and ethically bankrupt. Nothing wrong with making that apparent.

Narutoboy on October 1, 2010 at 2:52 AM

The reactions hereabouts on election night are going to be “interesting”, indeed.

Also highly nuanced, I’m sure.

Cylor on October 1, 2010 at 3:48 AM

Cool. Then maybe we can see your investigation on Coons next.

ddrintn on September 30, 2010 at 9:27 PM

Right after you acknowledge her unethical behavior.

You seem loath to discuss that yet chomping at the bit to hear more about a once-admitted Marxist whom, might I add, I continually slammed during primary season when it became clear that Castle (a prospective 50/50 vote for republican causes) could have taken Biden’s seat. Oh, but, having a Marxist was preferable to that slimy, dirty RINO. It was better to lose with unethical, unelectable, dodgy O’Donnell (yes, we knew about her penchant for embarrassing record embellishment, etc., prior) than it was to let Castle take it. Purity, right? Now you want us to fall in line, shut up, stop talking about ethics since, according to your ilk, anything is better than a Marxist. Well, we had that chance. Now? Good luck.

And, no, I won’t stop talking about it because blind devotion to any candidate while demanding exposure of every other is hypocritical. If you want research on Coons/Castle, there’s plenty on both their records to peruse. In O’Donnell’s case, we have “just words, just speeches.” If you’re OK with that, then you’re no different than OBots who bought into a few lines at the expense of our country. I wont do that. I wont support candidates who are habitually unethical and stand to tarnish the reputation of the party and TP movement, not to mention Sarah Palin (whom the left is aching to tie O’D to). It’s smarter for conservatives to get in front of this situation right now than hide and throw money at a problem as if it doesn’t exist.

Bee on October 1, 2010 at 6:21 AM

Beginning to wonder if there’s any truthful accounts of O’Donnell. The waters are so muddied now, that no one’s going to believe anything. Have to admit that I see her becoming more and more of a mistake. Perhaps she’s a fine person, but since no one(including herself)really knows who she is–I doubt if she’ll garner the necessary votes. If she loses this election though, perhaps she can serve as an object lesson about the folly of putting ideology ahead of common sense?

jeanie on October 1, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Great column in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer. Nails O’Donnell perfectly.

Breaking the spell of O’Donnell candidacy

rockmom on October 1, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Even if O’Donnell made up everything on her resume and she was a hooker dressed in a witch suit down in Dover.. I take her over a self labled Marxist like Coons.

You people who wanted a RINO like Castle are so bitter that your guy lost, you are willing to destroy O’Donnel all in the name of ” purity ” and ” high conservative ethics ‘?

There are no words to describe how dumb this is when you look at the big picture. I take the gal who will vote how I want her to vote over a Pelosi socialist ANY day.

magic kingdom on October 1, 2010 at 2:28 PM

There’s no straw men to be seen when you’ve been accused of working for the Coons campaign by more people than you can count.

MadisonConservative on October 1, 2010 at 12:18 AM

Oh, give me a friggin’ break. O’Donnell supporters (or those repulsed by Mike Castle) are “blind worshipers”. I don’t think there were really very many of that variety, but it comes in handy for woe-is-me-they-want-me-to-shut-up frolics.

Right after you acknowledge her unethical behavior.

You seem loath to discuss that …

Bee on October 1, 2010 at 6:21 AM

Resume padding and financial troubles and dabbling in witchcraft in high school. That ranks right up there with Watergate and Teapot Dome for sure.

ddrintn on October 1, 2010 at 4:51 PM

I guess this will be a lesson to the GOP – start running better candidates in the primary – stop foisting RINOs off on us. Better to elect someone like COD and get someone better next time, than to allow another RINO to become entrenched.

Queen0fCups on October 1, 2010 at 5:49 PM

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