There’s a very simple explanation for why Steve Lonegan lost last week’s special election for U.S. Senate to Cory Booker: The government shutdown. OK, that, and Lonegan’s being a loathsome asshat, maybe. But mostly the government shutdown, Lonegan told the Star-Ledger in an interview published Monday:
“There is no doubt in my mind or in the minds of any of my campaign staff that the shutdown cost me the election,” Lonegan said in a post-mortem interview today. “If I had known it was going to happen and that it was going to be handled so badly in Washington, I wouldn’t have run for senate.”
We guess the shutdown just reminded all the Takers how much they love being enslaved and not helping themselves, so they voted for the Moocher candidate, right?
Lonegan said that since his position in the polls had been improving before October, so the most likely factor that slowed those gains just had to be the shutdown. After all, in late September, he had gone from trailing Booker by 35 points in the summer to being only 12 to 13 points behind. Without the shutdown, that trend would have inevitably continued, and he’d have squashed Booker like a bug, probably certainly without a doubt.
“Our polls showed us gaining fast,” he said. “We’d see one that had us two or three down one night or one that had us up. By Oct. 1, when (Texas Gov.) Rick Perry came to town, our momentum was enormous.”
Or maybe in New Jersey, 11 point is as close as you’re ever going to get if you say you’re going to do for New Jersey what Rick Perry did to Texas. Just throwing that out there.
Of course, like Ted Cruz, Lonegan doesn’t think the problem was the shutdown itself — it was the betrayal of mainstream Republicans who criticized the tea party for the shutdown, specifically criticism from John McCain and Lindsey Graham:
“They drove a stake into our heart,” Lonegan said. “That’s the first time we started to see the momentum move against us. They both should be primaried for what they did.”
We’ll grant Lonegan’s hypothesis this much credit — the shutdown certainly did an excellent job of highlighting the kind of governance that people can expect from teabaggers like Steve Lonegan.
There’s no mention of it in the interview, but we’d also bet that Lonegan’s prospects weren’t helped a whole heck of a lot by his aide Rick Shaftan’s charm offensive, either. We will again confess to not having a deep knowledge of New Jersey folkways, but we’re going to guess that at least a fair chunk of women voters were not wooed by the idea of Steve Lonegan telling them they have really hot breasts and he’d like to suck on them (Add your own Snookie joke here, we’re done).
Following the interview, we’d like to think Lonegan received a sympathetic phone call from Mitt Romney, who would have been President now if it hadn’t been for Hurricane Sandy. New Jersey is apparently where Republican dreams are always dashed by circumstances beyond their control. We can hardly wait to see what Chris Christie will blame for his eventual failure to become President — A chemical plant explosion? A Hoboken Chicken Emergency? A dirigible crash? (Oh! the Humanity!) Those meddling teenagers are out there, Chris, just waiting to torpedo your dreams.
By Doktor Zoom