Lonegan campaign strategist Rick Shaftan has been quoted as saying that Jon Corzine has never run against a candidate like Steve Lonegan and that he doesn't know how to beat Steve Lonegan.
Lonegan's weird behavior makes the first part of that premise true. Few, if any, have ever run against a student council president like candidate in a state wide taxpayer funded race. My apologies to high school politicos.
However, Corzine and the Democrats know how to beat Lonegan in November. That is why they will be spending money over the next few weeks to help Lonegan win the GOP nomination.
Should Lonegan win the GOP nomination, this is how Corzine will beat him.
1) He will employ a "rose garden" strategy and refuse to engage Lonegan. Lonegan will whine about it, but Corzine won't fall into the same trap that Christie did and engage Lonegan on his turf. Corzine will not be taking state funds to finance his campaign. There will be no legal requirement that he debate Lonegan. Corzine won't debate Lonegan.
2) Corzine will blame New Jersey's problems on the economy and say he is working to fix the economy from the "rose garden." The Obama administration will bail Corzine out with federal money.
3) In October, Corzinecrats will fill the air waves with ads that say Lonegan will raise your taxes, restrict a woman's right to choose and ban billboards written in Spanish. If a second round of ads is necessary, they will say that Lonegan will dismantle the best public education system in the country.
4) On election day, he will spend a couple of million dollars on the ground making sure that there is a huge turnout in Democratic strongholds.
He will win by at least 10% and go on to a second term with the wind in his sails as he imposes his radical socialists agenda on New Jersey.
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