Sarah Palin is coming to New Jersey Saturday to campaign for Republican Senate candidate Steve Lonegan, a move likely to excite both sides of the political divide.
Palin, the former GOP vice presidential nominee, will host rally for Lonegan in New Egypt, Ocean County. Her endorsement of Lonegan last week thrilled both Lonegan and his opponent, Newark Mayor Cory Booker -- an odd dynamic I wrote about last Sunday.
"I am honored to have Governor Palin join us for the largest grass-roots campaign event in New Jersey history," Lonegan said in a statement. "While Joe Biden uses the excuse of a government shutdown to avoid an embarrassing reception campaigning for Cory Booker, I am proud to have the opportunity to stand next to a great conservative leader who should have been the Vice President as we go into the final hundred hours til victory."
Her appearance just days before the Oct. 16 election plays into both Booker's and Lonegan's strategies.
Lonegan, with little campaign cash, needs attention and enthusiasm from the GOP base.
Booker, though, has launched an all-out effort to paint Lonegan as an arch-conservative out of step with New Jersey's typically liberal views. That plan was in evidence repeatedly Wednesday night in their second debate.
Lonegan, who is proudly conservative and has never hidden his views, expressed his admiration for hard-line Republican Sens. Ted Cruz, of Texas, Mike Lee, of Utah, Rand Paul, of Kentucky and Marco Rubio, of Florida, questioned whether same-sex couples should raise children and spoke about bodies floating through the rivers around Newark as he assailed Booker's record on crime.
After the debate, Booker could hardly contain his glee.
"I was very happy with how Lonegan represented himself because tonight he told his truth for everybody to see," Booker said after the debate.
Lonegan aides responded that he is conservative and has never hidden that fact.
Lonegan's appearance with Palin will surely reinforce that view -- to the delight of both Lonegan and Booker.