New Jersey Republicans have been freaking out for the past few weeks about the prospect of running either Joe Pennacchio or Murray Sabrin against Senator Lautenberg.
Sabrin is the Ron Paul libertarian type (though not really: he’s for a constitutional ban on abortion, a national language, etc): 1/3 good ideas, 1/3 “interesting” ideas and 1/3 absolutely crazy ideas.
Pennacchio wrote a manifesto in 1991 (that just got unearthed) that actually had a lot of good ideas in it (which Republicans hate), but he’s since renounced most of those anyway. But it also had controversial stuff about how women are equal (but not really) to men and about putting homeless people onto military bases. And the whole thing overcompensates a bit on the issue of race. My favorite line reminds me of Joe Biden: “Shelby Steele, a black English professor at San Jose’ State has written eloquently on American race relations.”
Since Anne Estabrook dropped out of the race, Republicans have been throwing out all kinds of names as potential third options. Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Al Leiter and lately, Andy Unanue – former COO of Goya Foods.
The last one stuck and he threw his hat in the ring yesterday. And it’s funny how giddy Republicans are about him. NJ GOP chair Tom Wilson:
“The opportunity to put a different face on the Republican Party and have a candidate who is young, Hispanic and so dynamic excites a lot of the party leaders right now.”
That is quite a different face. They’re going from running a disgusting, racist campaign against Senator Menendez in 2006 to running a Hispanic of their own less than two years later.
The GOP still doesn’t get it. You don’t automatically win over Hispanics or blacks or any other group just by running them for office. You start by not being so racist and scapegoating them for all of the country’s problems.
I don’t know very much yet about Unanue, but I do wonder how it must feel to be drafted by and agree to run with the party that used your ethnicity to scare voters in the prior election.
Does Andy Unanue approve this message?