NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME — OR SUNDAY MORNING…. In May, right-wing ophthalmologist Rand Paul, shortly after winning Kentucky’s Republican Senate primary, agreed to appear on “Meet the Press.” Upon realizing the candidate might be asked to explain his extremist ideology, the Rand campaign quickly walked away from the commitment.

Four months later, right-wing activist Christine O’Donnell, shortly after winning Delaware’s Republican Senate primary, agreed to appear on “Face the Nation” and “Fox News Sunday.” And wouldn’t you know it, after realizing O’Donnell may be asked about her witchcraft-dabbling, gay-hating, anti-masturbation-crusading, delusion-sharing background, the Republican nominee discovered she has other plans tomorrow.

Yes, just one day before her scheduled appearances, O’Donnell backed out.

Campaign spokeswoman Diana Banister cited scheduling conflicts and said O’Donnell needed to return to Delaware for commitments to church events and afternoon picnic with Republicans in a key county where she has solid backing.

“Tomorrow the priorities are back in Delaware,” Banister said. “Those are people who supported her, who were very helpful to her in the campaign, and she feels obligated to be there and thank them.”

The campaign spokesperson added, “We felt really bad.”

Of course.

It’s one thing to duck “Face the Nation”; Bob Schieffer leans to the right, but he’s a media professional who would have asked real questions. But O’Donnell also bailed on Fox News, suggesting either she, her team, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, or some combination of the three aren’t even confident in her ability to handle questions from a Republican cable network.

Noting recent examples — Palin, Angle, et al — David Kurtz added, “It’s become a staple of the tea party candidacy. You make a big splash onto the national stage then quickly retreat from any press scrutiny because you are so unprepared and ill-equipped for the rigors of the job that tough questions will expose you as the charlatan you are.”

It’s worth noting that Chris Coons, the sane candidate who’s on track to defeat Christine O’Donnell, hasn’t been invited onto any of the Sunday shows, even after her cancellations. Imagine that.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.