Lonegan Should Alter His Rhetoric

If he really wants to be a U.S. Senator, Steve Lonegan should eliminate the words ‘Obama’ and ‘Obamacare’ from his stump speech and talking points. He should never say the phrase ‘Republican backbone” in public again.

Despite the recent scandals in the IRS, State Department and Justice Department, the president remains popular. 48% of American voters still approve of the president according to the Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll released Sunday.   It is a safe bet that New Jersey voters, who reelected President Obama by 18% only 8 months ago, have a higher regard for the president than rest of the country.

Running against Barack Obama in New Jersey is a losing strategy. Running against ‘Washington’ works.  Running against the IRS, government eavesdropping, rising healthcare costs and the anemic economy works.  Running for liberty and prosperity works. Running for jobs, better education, better healthcare and less government intrusion into our personal lives works.

‘Republican backbone’ sounds scary to most New Jersey voters who are not Republican.

Unless a well known and well funded Republican we haven’t heard about shows up in Trenton with 1000 valid signatures to get on the Special Primary ballot this afternoon, we’ll be calling Steve Lonegan the presumptive GOP nominee for Senate tomorrow.

Dr. Aleita Eck appears to be a remarkable woman. A modern day saint even. But unless she has $10 million of her own money, more if she is not telegenic and fast on her feet, she has less of a shot to be the GOP Senatorial nominee than Seth Grossman or Troy Webster had to be gubernatorial nominees in last week’s primary.  Who is Troy Webster?  That’s my point.

No American politician has ever been canonized.  Congressman Chris Smith is working on it, to the detriment of his influence in Washington.

Lonegan has never been a candidate in a statewide general election.  His biggest statewide electoral accomplishment was the campaign to defeat Governor Corzine’s stem cell research bonding referendum in 2007.  The defeat of that bond referendum shocked the New Jersey political/media establishment.

Lonegan has an opportunity to shock the world in this coming Special Election.  He has the opportunity to unite the conservative and moderate wings of the New Jersey Republican Party, like only someone who has exploited and deepened that rift as he has over the years, can.

Unless Geraldo Rivera, Steve Forbes or Lou Dobbs show up in Trenton with 1000 valid signatures this afternoon, Steve Lonegan is going to be the GOP nominee for Senate. He should start campaigning for October 16 today and leave the blood letting to Frank Pallone, Rush Holt, Sheila Oliver and Cory Booker.

In order for Steve Lonegan to win the Special Election, he needs to be a happy conservative.

Lonegan needs to start appealing to moderate voters today.



Posted: June 10th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, 2014 U.S. Senate race, Senate Special Election | Tags: , , , , , , | 23 Comments »

23 Comments on “Lonegan Should Alter His Rhetoric”

  1. Middletowner said at 9:06 am on June 10th, 2013:

    We’ve tried those moderate wishy-washy candidates for over a decade by now, running on exactly what you said (prosperity, jobs, happy families, puppies and unicorns, etc).

    Since Dems are expected to win this one, why not try at least once a conservative candidate, see what happens?

  2. Art Gallagher said at 9:11 am on June 10th, 2013:


    I’m not suggesting that Lonegan alter his positions. I’m suggesting that he alter his rhetoric.

    He should espouse the exact same things without the words ‘Obama’ ‘Obamacare’ or ‘Republican backbone’

    I’d rather see what happens if he does that

  3. Politicalpony said at 9:25 am on June 10th, 2013:

    If Dr Eco should be able to win the Primary, the NJ GOP should back her financially and in any other way they can with her campaign. But we’ve seen how the GOP reacts nation wide when of their’s isn’t anointed. They eat their own. They bite their noses to spite their face. They the A GOP caused us to lose winning back the senate because of their greed for total power. They don’t want to change anything. They like the status quo. The republican party would rather work against such a candidate that they feel might tip their boat.

  4. Barry said at 10:03 am on June 10th, 2013:

    What a joke political phony does not even know how to spell the candidate he/she supports yet delares she will win the primary.

  5. Barry said at 10:04 am on June 10th, 2013:


  6. Carolee Adams said at 10:22 am on June 10th, 2013:

    Art, noted Jersey blogger and friend, it’s apropos to soon report other accomplishments of Steve Lonegan. And, I trust you will. Here’s one more for now: the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). In Steve’s words, (and only surpassed by his positive, relentless actions to oppose it), RGGI was a money-making scheme in a manipulated carbon trading market that had the potential to make the mortgage-backed securities scam look like child’s play and heap huge costs upon taxpayers. Lonegan engendered the support of many, including Democrats, concluding with Governor Christie’s thankful decision to pull New Jersey out of RGGI when he, too, realized it was not in our best interest.

    As you pull together Steve’s positions and actions of the past, I believe you will find he has amply covered and detailed all of the general issues you referenced in your post – widely and professionally publicized – almost daily – in the past and through today. Example: as did I, he opposed the very misguided School to Work (to College and Career) in the 90s and now opposes its grandchild, Common Core/PARCC, the tops down, one size fits all, nationalized, uber-costly miseducational system that violates federal laws and ignores parental and local input and control. Lonegan cogently and relentlessly draws attention to imperative issues that require time, talent, tenacity, and passion to pursue. In other words, he’s a leader.

    For such a precarious time as this, Lonegan’s wit and bravura in the United States Senate will well serve New Jersey and our beloved America.

  7. Art Gallagher said at 10:25 am on June 10th, 2013:

    Thank you, Carolee.

    You are correct, Steve’s accomplishment are many and RGGI is right up there.

    I was referring to ‘electoral” i.e. on the ballot, accomplishments when I pointed to the stem cell bond referendum.

  8. Bobbi Bennett said at 10:59 am on June 10th, 2013:

    I’m with the camp that says “we’ve run moderate and lost, and lost and lost.” No Republican is going to win sounding like Democrat-lite. What Lonegan needs to do is to articulate WHY we have answers that work (for EVERYONE, especially the most needy), and WHY Obama and the “moderates” in Washington are failing. He needs to follow the Reagan model of example (the more ridiculous the example of gov’t overreach the better), point and reason. There is a reason even Democrats run to the right in general elections. Moderate today is somewhere between the left and the far left – I don’t think that’s where most people are, not even NJ Democrats. Let’s try giving the people a REAL choice for once.

  9. Art Gallagher said at 11:05 am on June 10th, 2013:

    I agree with you 98% Bobbi.

    My point is that Lonegan should do exactly what you say…articulate solutions for EVERYONE.

    My point is that he should do it with out using the word “Obama.”

  10. Middletowner said at 11:41 am on June 10th, 2013:

    Yes, NJ is a blue state, and a Dem-lite Republican won’t get any blue votes since Dems already have a candidate to vote for. They key is bringing out as many Republicans as possible to vote, and words like Obama, ObamaCare, taxes will energize them.

    Kyrillos ran to appeal to Dems, do you think there are many Dems who voted for him? What he failed to bring out were the Republicans.

    Not that Kyrillos/Romney brought 136,000 less Republicans to vote (almost 10% less) than Zimmer/McCain.

  11. Middletowner said at 11:45 am on June 10th, 2013:

    Remember that Anna Little was a loony conservative with an extreme rhetoric, and still she brought more Republican votes than any moderates in Pallone’s prior 24 years in office

  12. Lonegan Should Alter His Rhetoric | The Save Jersey Blog said at 12:06 pm on June 10th, 2013:

    […] By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings.com […]

  13. Bob English said at 12:10 pm on June 10th, 2013:

    Bobbi…I would respectfully disagree with you as to where you see moderates today falling on the political spectrum. In many parts of the country the Republican base is much further to the right than it used to be. When you have people like Bob Dole saying that Ronald Reagan could not make it in todays Republican party, that is definitely something to ponder.

    Also note that many D’s never thought they would see the day when a D President (Obama) was proposing cuts in entitlement programs (Social Security and Medicare) like he recently did as part of what has become known as a “Grand Bargain” to reduce future deficits. The President received much criticism from members of his party over those proposals although every serious discussion about reducing future deficits includes entitlement reform as well as revenue increases.

    Note that if using the old liberal-moderate-conservative standards, I think the majority of people in NJ would consider themselves liberal/moderate on social issues an and moderate/conservative on fiscal issues.

    The more the R base keeps sliding to the right though, the more that gives the D’s an opportunity to get those Republican and Independent voters who are not moving with the base.

  14. Either articulate a clear difference, said at 2:49 pm on June 10th, 2013:

    or it is another automatic loss: so many times we who agree 99% with what Lonegan’s says have sucked it up, worked like mad, and voted for the “Dem-lites” – only to see another usually resounding defeat.. The major problem with this one is, our candidate, if it’s Lonegan, can’t stray too far from now til October from the rather moderate efforts of the Gov., to try and sway some of the 700,000 more registered Dems over to his side, for November.. Sounds like another rock-and-hard place mess for the Reps again, so, after all the processes are gone thru, and millions spent on the abbreviated primary and election, I still say the end result is what amounts to confusing messages and positions from our side of the aisle-so, we get Christie with a good plurality, but also Booker pretty handily, when all is said and done.. Almost impossible to move Blue Jersey voters, once they go with familiar names and the liberal bent..

  15. Joe D said at 6:12 pm on June 10th, 2013:

    With respect to Mr. Lonegan, he has no shot. Bad message. Re-tread candidate. Not electable state wide. Its just a shame but Booker (absent some unpredictable issue that erupts which is unlikely) will win. The media will be fawning all over him — locally and nationally. The primary be a tad closer that expected but its Booker’s seat now. Very sad.

  16. DoggerCalvin said at 9:24 pm on June 10th, 2013:

    Hey folks, there is a difference between a credible message and a credible messenger., and both are important. A good Republican candidate can sell a message of fiscal conservatism and reform, even in NJ. But, in order to do so, this candidate must:
    1) understand what they are talking about,
    2) have a personal background and experience that is consistent with the message, (ie. they can’t be a phony), and
    3) be appealing to the public at large (in Art’s words, “a happy conservative.”)

    So, for example, Lonegan succeeds on #1, but fails on #2 and #3. Anna Little would fail on all 3. When we can find a candidate who fulfills 1-3, that is when we will start winning back the state.

  17. Maybe when said at 7:13 am on June 11th, 2013:

    there’s something going on in the damn government to be happy ABOUT, you will see more smiles and giggles.. this is all part of the lib nirvana “the way we’d like things to be,” mentality, while they steal more of our liberties every day: I for one, am more pissed about what is happening to us every day, and maybe it will take someone running who is angry enough to ignite a real voter rebellion, soon, to start turning this country around, before we are all in gulags and encampments with the dictator-in-chief taking everything we earn and monitoring our every aspect of life.. which, as you can see, is happening right now!

  18. Allison said at 9:11 am on June 11th, 2013:

    No Republican has won the US Senate even with all the cycles of Republican coattails since 1972 over 4 decades. Starting to wonder if Rullo isn’t on to something running Independent. Many Republicans & Democrats who give up in partisan dominated towns change to Faulkner Act towns., so members of the other party can win Independent.

  19. Joe Foster said at 9:16 am on June 11th, 2013:

    The suggestion to Republican candidates (for this discussion, Steve Lonegan) to run, perhaps tempering their rhetoric so as not to “offend” or alienate NJ voters, in my mind weakens their position, ultimately ensuring a loss in the election.

    We have seen how “plain vanilla” moderate candidate platforms succeed vs a hard left agendas, by true believers, even if they have been tainted with tinges of corruption (I.e., Kryllos vs Menendez). In fairness, Kryllos running against the incumbent Menendez would always be an uphill battle however in that race, if Kryllos had a more (how should I say it?) robust and clearer political message, highlighting the differences between he and Menendez, it might have made the race a little closer.

    So, this becomes an academic question. Do we as Republicans/Conservatives run to the left, the middle or right? Do we use language designed to inform and convince or just not offend? Do we seek candidates that act more like statesmen/women willing to lay it on the line, robustly speaking power to the Truth regardless of what the “conventional wisdom” dictates?

    After the Reagan revolution there has been a trend within the party establishment to be more reticent about stating what we truly stand for and believe in (otherwise we would be Democrats wouldn’t we?). Part of the problem is that the left has been able to accomplish several significant things (not to mention the Obama presidency, thanks in part to Antonio Gramsci and Saul Allinsky); 1) Political Correctness on steroids creating division between groups (brilliant) and, 2) giving free stuff away to buy votes from basically a lazy and/or brainwashed and ill-informed electorate (who cares about the destructive nature of the destruction of our society and the guaranteed loss of freedom and even one’s self-respect).

    By tempering our arguments using watered down language, we will only find ourselves being swept along with the Progressive tidal wave and agenda, the advance will continue to be slow and steady, however, the negative outcome is still assured. Only speaking the truth forcefully provides any hope for reversing this trend. Mincing words and dancing around issues is not going to save the day. For this, you can rest assured.

    Steve’s approach and language is exactly what is needed at this time for this open Senate seat. The same advice goes for any other candidates wishing to run as well. Watering down your language and message will without a doubt assure a Republican loss in the upcoming election.

    Run hard to the middle and you will lose, not just the election but also the chance to ultimately help save the country…

  20. Question for Allison said at 1:53 pm on June 11th, 2013:

    Question for Allison – how many towns are going from Republican and Democratic partison elections to non-partisan elections? Not many… good try though… And don’t give me the retreads like Asbury Park, Jersey City, Hoboken, etc. How many are like that in the 53 towns in Monmouth? A few, maybe Avon, Monmouth Beach, Asbury, Keansburg? And if so, what year did they change to this format? Also, Faulkner Act does not mean non-partisan elections. Allison, you are confused…

  21. Reply to Question for Allison - Joe Foster said at 8:09 am on June 12th, 2013:

    In answer to your observations regarding partisan vs non-partisan municipal elections (November or May), Long Branch is another one that should be considered.

    It is a good example of how these non-partisan elections can (and should) work. Ever since 1994 (Clean Sweep Team) the composition of the mayor and council has been a constructive and until recently, balanced (politically speaking) mix of R’s, D’s and I’s.

    The point is, that form of government can and does work constructively. If you just want a partisan town approach, you will see many towns “swing deals” splitting the composition between R & D by simply not running a candidate in opposition.

    Basically same result right? One major difference from my perspective, if you have a Partisan election (November), you will have a focus that may be less on local issues and more on state and national (value neutral).

    The argument here is how and what do you want to focus on, Local or National and is one better than the other. You tell me.

  22. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » What the Eck! said at 9:53 am on June 19th, 2013:

    […] Lonegan could be that candidate, but so far he stubbornly refuses to be.  He is steadfast on attacking Obama when he should be attacking the problems/issues and offering conservative solutions. […]

  23. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Lonegan’s Own Words said at 9:26 am on August 19th, 2013:

    […] Clearly and despite his vow not to change his rhetoric last Tuesday night, Lonegan has adjusted his rhetoric to increase his appeal to the general electorate.  He would have been wise to make that adjustment in June. […]