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So Sarah Palin's been in the Garden State a lot lately to help her Tea Party pal Steve Lonegan (R. NJ) in the special election against Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D. NJ) on Wednesday:

“New Jersey, just know that the eyes of America are on you right now,” Palin said on stage. “Something big is happening here. And it’s exactly clear — it’s called momentum.”

In the final weeks of the race, Lonegan has increasingly sought that momentum from the Tea Party, a loud but likely small block of voters in a state that has voted for Democratic presidents since 1992 and Democratic senators since 1979. The event Saturday was just past the Ocean County line, one of New Jersey’s reliably conservative areas; Mitt Romney, John McCain, and George W. Bush all did well in this South Jersey Republican stronghold.

The crowd, receptive to Lonegan’s stump speech lines about the Revolutionary War, hawked standard-fare Tea Party flags in the air — “Don’t Tread on Me” and “Liberty or Death” were two — and held up signs that called for the president’s impeachment.

A singer who took the stage before the speakers to perform live warned attendees of a possible “U.S.S. of A” — the United Socialist States of America. “They’ll own our banks, our healthcare too. They’ll own our houses, they’ll own our food. They’ll own the cars we all will drive, they’ll own every aspect of our lives,” she crooned. “They’re takin’ away our liberty, it’s a nightmare, don’t you see?”

The event, Lonegan’s biggest yet, was sponsored in part by the bus tour group, Tea Party Express, and by Palin’s political action committee, Sarah PAC.

Lonegan, who also received endorsements from Sen. Rand Paul and Gov. Rick Perry last month, has more recently focused his campaign on the partisan gridlock in Washington that shutdown the federal government two weeks ago.

In a debate with Booker last week, Lonegan said he’d “like to see the government open,” but at the racetrack, he had a different message. “Tell Republicans in Washington, D.C., to hold the line,” Lonegan said, speaking before Palin. “Hold the line! Hold the line! Hold the line!”

Palin downplayed the negative impacts of the shutdown. “They’re callin’ it the government shutdown — I think it should be called the slim-down,” she said during her 15-minute speech. “Because really it’s only 17 percent of our bloated, burdensome, out-of-control federal government that has even slowed down this week.” - BuzzFeed, 10/13/13

But the best part of the rally was Palin's "Oops, I did it again" moment:

Former half-term Alaska Governor and Fox News commentator Sarah Palin recently campaigned for New Jersey U.S. Senate candidate Steve Lonegan (R) and used one of her favorite tools, writing on her hand.

According to, while speaking to a crowd of two thousand people at the New Egypt Speedway in New Jersey on Saturday, Palin yelled, “We need a leader not a tweeter! That was poem-worthy!"

"Leader not Tweeter," was written on one of Palin's hands, tweeted writer Ruby Cramer.

“New Jersey, just know that the eyes of America are on you right now,” stated Palin. “Something big is happening here. And it’s exactly clear, it’s called momentum.”

However, Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker (D) is leading Lonegan by 53-41 percent, according to a recent poll by Quinnipiac University.

During his Saturday rally, Lonegan expressed his support with the unpopular government shutdown: "Tell Republicans in Washington, D.C., to hold the line. Hold the line! Hold the line! Hold the line!” - Opposing Views, 10/13/13

Oh Sarah, you truly are the gift that keeps on giving.  What's also funny is while Lonegan is cheering on the shutdown, Palin was trying to shift blame from the Republicans:

Palin called the government shutdown an act of disrespect against military families whose paychecks and death benefits were delayed. U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, whose death in June prompted this election, "was the last World War II veteran to serve in Congress. His memory is dishonored, along with all of our military veterans."

"Bottom line, guys: The politicians are using the military as pawns," she added.

Lonegan would fight to repeal the "train wreck" that is Obamacare, she continued, chastising those who said it was too late to stop it. "They used to say that about Prohibition, too, but today I believe you can get a beer with your famous New Jersey pizza. The law of the land is not settled until you say it is settled.

"Thank you for you being here. You who have the Jersey fight — you who are here for love of country," she said, to cheers and applause. - The Star-Ledger, 10/12/13

Meanwhile, Booker remains the favorite on Wednesday night to win but he's not taking any chances.  He's been hitting back at Lonegan's former lead campaign aide, Rick Shaftan's ridiculous rant about Booker's Twitter conversation with a Portland stripper:

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cory Booker, top right, greets supporters as he arrives at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, before his debate with Republican Steve Lonegan. This second and final debate of the U.S. Senate campaign is their last chance to sway New Jersey voters one week before the Oct. 16 special election. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
"I couldn't believe the comments that came out of the chief person from my opponent's campaign. My staff wrote a whole bunch of them on here," Booker said, pointing to a binder that sat on a lectern in front of him. "I don't want to even read them. ... I cannot tolerate people who will demean others because of their gender, their orientation, or the geography in which they live. And so, I'm calling on you all right now. We've got work to do in this country. We've got a lot of work to do. We need to unleash some loving on some folks. Lord knows my opponent needs some love, needs a lot of love. My parents loved me so much my backside hurt."

Shaftan's ribald diatribe was the latest in a series of intense attacks on Booker from the Lonegan campaign, which has accused him of having owned a "crackhouse" in Newark, mocked him for being effeminate, and criticized him from focusing more on becoming a celebrity than on his constituents. Speaking to TPM on the campaign bus, Booker accused Lonegan of running a race consistently filled with "nastiness."

"I didn't know Steve Lonegan at all. My staff had to remind me, my first knowledge of him was when he, on Martin Luther King Day, did a protest. Chose that day to do a protest on the front steps of City Hall against affirmative action," said Booker. "But it didn't take long for the campaign to start. It was first with that tweet and calling sections of my city, I can't remember the nations he picked. ... Next thing you know, I have him saying that you're not a real man. ... This has been a constant theme for him of this kind of stuff."

Along with statements seemingly designed to raise questions about Booker's sexuality, on several occasions, the Lonegan campaign has painted Newark as a crime-ridden urban nightmare. These jabs included the aforementioned tweet, which showed a map labeling some of Newark's poorer neighborhoods as third world countries. They also included a comment Lonegan made during a debate last week referring to Newark as a "big black hole," and a press conference where Lonegan promised to "address the interests of suburban New Jerseyans" that he said Booker "ignores." At his first speech Saturday in Newark, Booker accused Lonegan of exploiting "tired tropes."

"When I stood up there in the last debate and he referred to Newark as, I think it was a black hole or a big black hole ... where he talked about dead bodies in the river, floating in the river. ... With all the things that are going on in our city for the positive, to have somebody there disrespect our city. ... It was painful for me as one of the city fathers to have somebody talk about the community that they love," Booker said. "But worse than that, they were playing into these tired tropes that there are many different New Jerseys. You know, there are some people that say there's an urban New Jersey and a suburban New Jersey. Some people say there's a minority New Jersey and a non-minority. Some people would say that there's a South Jersey and a North Jersey. Some people even say there's a Republican New Jersey and a Democrat New Jersey. Well, anybody who's fought in this battle like we all have knows one truth fundamentally; we are one state, with one destiny, and we all need each other, and that's how we get strong." - TPM, 10/12/13

Booker's also been out on the campaign trail slamming Lonegan and the GOP government shutdown:

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 04:  Newark Mayor Cory Booker speaks during day one of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on September 4, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The DNC that will run through September 7, will nominate U.S. President Barack Obama as the Democratic presidential candidate.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
A hoarse, fired-up Newark Mayor Cory Booker continued a bus tour of the state as the special U.S. Senate election approaches.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez joined Booker on Sunday.

As WCBS 880′s Jim Smith reported, Booker told a crowd at the annual Bergen and Passaic Counties Hispanic Rally that New Jersey voters have a special opportunity by voting during the government shutdown.

“We’re the only election for the United States Congress that is happening during this shutdown,” he said.

Booker said New Jersey voters can “endorse the tea party and their shutdown politics” or say, “No, not here in New Jersey, not in this nation.”

Wasserman-Schultz said voters should help make sure the tea party is “squelched.”

“We are apparently, not any closer, to reopening the government,” she said. - CBS New York, 10/13/13

This is good becuase Booker for a long time avoided attacking Lonegan but had a missteps along the campaign trail:

Newark Mayor and U.S. Senate candidate Cory Booker speaks to the media after casting his ballot during the Senate primary election in Newark, New Jersey, August 13, 2013. Booker seemed poised for victory on Tuesday as New Jersey voters head to the polls to select party nominees in the race to fill the state's empty U.S. Senate seat.  REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS) - RTX12JLZ
Earlier that week, Booker had a marked departure from his usual, upbeat TV ads, with his first attack ad, using a clip of Lonegan boasting he was a “right wing radical,” with Booker arguing the Republican was “too extreme for New Jersey.”

The shift, to many observers, was a clear sign of worry, especially when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Political Action Committee stepped in to spend $1 million for ads in support of Booker.

Many Democrats have privately grumbled that missteps, including some self-inflicted wounds, have opened up opportunities Lonegan has exploited. The Democrat was dinged late last month after it was revealed he had exchanged direct messages with an Oregon stripper. Booker said it was just part of his active social media life, and he hadn’t scrutinized her profile.

The accuracy of other anecdotes he’s used on the trail, including a story of a former drug dealer, “T-Bone,” he later befriended, have been called into question. Booker’s also faced questions over his stake in an internet video company and payouts he received from his former law firm, who got contracts with the city.

Booker’s campaign says the race was always going to tighten, and said the drop in polls was only natural.  “When we looked at this race early on there was a level of support among Republicans that, in this environment, was not going to be sustainable,” said Booker spokesman Kevin Griffis.

While Booker may have put this race at least within Lonegan’s grasp, the conservative activist is no Scott Brown — or even Chris Christie, who he challenged from the right in the 2009 gubernatorial primary. Lonegan hasn’t poised himself as able to take advantage of a Democrat’s missteps in a special election with such a conservative record in the solidly blue Garden State. - MSNBC, 10/13/13

I'm confident that Booker will win on Wednesday but of course it's important for our base to get out and vote.  If you live in New Jersey and would like to find your polling place for Wednesday, you can click here:

Originally posted to pdc on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 06:56 AM PDT.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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