Delaware's Republican Senate nominee may not be as fiery on the stump as some of her Tea Party-backed counterparts, but Christine O'Donnell succeeded in bringing the crowd at the Family Research Council's Value Voters Summit to its feet Friday.
It was obviously a friendly audience and O'Donnell appeared at ease, despite delivering a speech that she likely had little time to practice. If you believe Democratic candidate Chris Coons and national Dems when they say they're not taking anything for granted in this race, O'Donnell might have just shown why.
Speaking to a packed ballroom of social conservatives activists, O'Donnell took some clear shots at the left, like this one -- "They'll buy your daughter an abortion, but they won't let her buy a sugary soda in a school vending machine."
But overall, her tone was softer than the vast majority of the summit's speakers and she was well recieved.
"The small elite don't get us," O'Donnell said. "They call us wacky, they call us wing nuts. We call us--we the people."
She said conservative activists were too often derided by political opponents as just "an aging crowd of former Reagan staffers and home schoolers."
And she cut against the grain of the message that adorns Sen. Jim DeMint's Senate Conservatives Fund website. "We're not taking our country back," O'Donnell said. "We are our country."
O'Donnell's speech comes just three days after she was thrust into the national media spotlight thanks to her stunning upset of Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) in Delaware's Senate primary. O'Donnell faces Coons this fall.
O'Donnell will also be the guest of honor at a last-minute fundraiser for FRC's political action committee early Friday evening. Cost for admission is $150 a ticket.
O'Donnell was originally supposed to meet Friday with National Republican Senate Campaign Chairman John Cornyn (R-Texas) in Washington, but that meeting was postponed due to scheduling issues, according to O'Donnell's campaign.