Tag Archive: Talking Points Memo

Steve Lonegan campaign gets caught being itself & somebody gets canned

Screen shot 2011-02-25 at 5.37.34 AMSo, tonight, in the span of a very few hours, the Steve Lonegan for Senate campaign lost its shit.

It began shortly after 5:22pm when Talking Points Memo posted Lonegan strategist Rick Shaftan’s answer to why Lonegan seems to be gaining on Cory Booker. Shaftan tells TPM’s Hunter Walker it must be because voters think Booker’s Twitter convo with Oregon stripper Lynsie Lee was “like what a gay guy would say”. Doesn’t even occur to him somebody might talk to her like a human being. Then Shaftan says this:

“It was just weird. I mean, to me, you know, hey, if he said, ‘Hey, you got really hot breasts man, I’d love to suck on them.’ Then like, yeah, cool. But like, he didn’t say that.”

Yeah. Couple hours later, Shaftan issues a non-apology apology (since edited), followed by dozens of dumb-cluck comments from supporters who hadn’t even read what this was about.

Then, in the same hour, Lonegan tells TPM (via spokesman) he’s gonna can Shaftan: “Mr. Shaftan’s comments are not reflective of my views or that of my campaign. His comments are distasteful and offensive, and his contract as a vendor for my campaign will be terminated immediately.”

Except that it’s 100% reflective of his campaign. And of Lonegan. It’s not the first time Lonegan himself passive-aggressively implies Booker’s gay, not a real man. Not the first time mind-numbingly offensive drivel issued from his mouth. Dead bodies clogging the Passaic River in Newark.

In the debate, Lonegan complained Booker called him “Tea Party,” which as AFP’s top guy in Jersey, who cheers the government shutdown, who owes his political life to the Koch brothers, he absolutely is.

Because first you try to distance yourself from the Tea Party you so completely represent. And then you try to distance yourself from the guy who has provided your guts and your brains for years of your political life.

But that’s Lonegan’s level. In just hours, Sarah Palin arrives to campaign with Lonegan. She’s his level, too. Suck on that.

Do The Booker Backwalk!

Have you heard about the new dance craze sweeping the nation? It’s called the Cory Booker Backwalk, and it goes something like this:

1) Put your foot in your mouth. Do this by calling “nauseating” and “ridiculous” the completely legitimate questions being asked by the Obama campaign about Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital. Bain is a cornerstone of Romney’s message, so what makes the topic unsavory isn’t exactly clear. Maybe, like Steve Kornacki points out, Booker just doesn’t want to anger his many friends (and potential future friends, wink wink) in the finance sector.

2) Take your foot out of your mouth. Do this by frantically publishing a YouTube video intended to squish any notion that Booker would say such a silly thing. Call it a clarification, even if it’s essentially a complete reversal.

Got it? Good, because the Booker Backwalk is all over the news today, and you don’t want to miss out. His pals at Morning Joe think it’s no big deal and are holding out hope for another video of Booker and Christie running hand-in-hand through a meadow.  At CNN they have reported that Booker is “Backtracking Bigtime.” And Talking Points Memo is focusing more on how Booker’s gaffe/possible moment of too much candidness gives Republicans new ammo no matter how you slice it.

It’s interesting that coverage of this debacle casts Booker as a progressive Democrat. Think Progress, for example, calls Booker the “popular and progressive” mayor of Newark, even though Booker’s take on one of  the biggest issues of the day – education reform – is in square alignment with Republican governors like Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Mitch Daniels and Tom Corbett. Journalist Glen Ford has reported on Booker’s direct ties to the right’s agenda of privatization and union-busting. Just two weeks ago, Booker spoke at a pro-school voucher event sponsored by ALEC. Progressive?

Glen Ford doesn’t think so. In fact, Ford calls Booker “a major player in a huge historical saga in which the corporate right successfully bought its way deep into Black American politics.” That saga, argues Ford, is at the root of the current attack on public education in NJ and across the U.S. Watch and think: