In an interview with Talking Points Memo, a senior strategist for the Steve Lonegan campaign, Rick Shaftan, ranted about a Twitter exchange between Cory Booker and a stripper. You might be thinking, “Uh-oh. Booker was chatting with a stripper? Is this another Anthony Weiner scandal?”
No. It’s not. You can read the Twitter chat between Booker and the stripper on Buzzfeed (NSFW).
In fact, Shaftan attacked Booker for not sexting with the stripper, Weiner style. Here’s what Shaftan told TPM:
“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,” Shaftan explained. “It was like kind of like, I don’t know, it was like what a gay guy would say to a stripper. It’s the way he was talking to her. It’s just like like there was no sexual interest at all. I don’t know. To me, if I was single and you know like some stripper was tweeting me, I might take advantage of the perks of the office, you know?”
Maybe there was “no sexual interest at all” because Booker is a decent man who doesn’t hit on strippers on Twitter. That, and the fact that he’s running for governor.
None of that matters because the Lonegan campaign has been attempting to not-so-subtly suggest that Booker is gay, presumably because the Republican campaign has calculated that New Jersey voters might not want another Jim McGreevey scandal. McGreevey, who was governor of New Jersey from 2002-2004, resigned amid a scandal in which he had an affair with his male homeland security adviser.
Of course, Booker might not be gay at all. And even if he is, who cares?
Nevertheless, this Shaftan quote is completely bizarre. It’s now scandalous if a politician doesn’t engage in sexting with a stripper? Yes, we’re through the looking glass now — a bizarro GOP sex scandal alternative universe. We can only conclude that Shaftan and Lonegan believe that being gay is worse than sexting with a stripper while running for the U.S. Senate. Interesting. Lonegan and Shaftan think New Jersey is loaded with enough homophobes to help them win.
UPDATE: Shaftan has been fired.