The Most Boring, Most Important Gaffe in That Filthy Lonegan Campaign Interview

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 11 2013 8:10 PM

The Most Boring, Most Important Gaffe in That Filthy Lonegan Campaign Interview

Having spent the morning jealous of Rosie Gray's story about FreedomWorks, I end it jealous of Hunter Walker's interview with Rick Shaftan. Now the key advisor to Steve Lonegan's Senate campaign in New Jersey, Shaftan became the second strategist to give Walker an unvarnished, profanity-strewn interview just days before an election. (The first was Anthony Weiner's spokeswoman. Honestly, she had bigger problems.) New Jersey papers have already mined this story for Shaftan's best quotes, largely about how sissy Booker's non-sexual DMs to a stripper were, but this is the buried lead.

Shaftan also suggested Booker's campaign has made more mundane political mistakes; not using its war chest wisely and not establishing a strong ground game. However, even when discussing these decidedly less salacious aspects of the race, Shaftan's comments were quite colorful.
"We've got all these people. They're just going to be picking up signs and putting them all over the place. ... They're just going to be everywhere, which is exactly what we want to do. We want them everywhere. We want them like on every road, every place you go you just see Lonegan signs," Shaftan said. "You know what, Booker's spending the same amount of money -- I'm not making this shit up -- on New York Daily News web ads. New York Daily News, which nobody fucking reads in New Jersey."

One of the first truisms learned by political campaigners is that "signs don't vote." One sign costs about as much as five pieces of targeted mail. Targeted web ads were a useful and underrated tool for both the 2008 and 2012 Obama campaigns -- and Booker's campaign is led by Obama veterans. Hey, the Lonegan campaign is a ton of fun, but it's giving off all the red alerts that losing campaigns usually do.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



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