Cory Booker Defeats Gay-Baiting Opponent To Win Senate Race

It got lost in the high drama and lowjinks of the government shutdown crisis, but there was a special election in New Jersey yesterday to fill an open Senate seat, and gay ally Cory Booker won it. The mayor of Newark handily won the low-turnout vote by a double-digit margin, beating opponent Steve Lonegan.

The campaign was noteworthy for the amount of energy that Lonegan and company spent speculating about Booker’s sexuality. Booker, who has been advocating for gay rights since he was a college student, has said that he actually thinks it’s pretty great if people think he’s gay because “I want to challenge people on their homophobia.”

Lonegan was up to the challenge, largely by showing how homophobic he could get. Lonegan speculated about why Booker “likes to go out at three o’clock in the morning for a manicure and a pedicure,” while real he-men like Lonegan prefer “Scotch and a cigar.”

Just days before the election, Lonegan aide Rick Shaftan took aim at Booker for having had Twitter exchanges with a stripper. The problem, Shaftan complained, was that Booker wasn’t sufficiently hetero in the messages.

“Hey, if he said, ‘Hey, you got really hot breasts man, I’d love to suck on them.’ Then like, yeah, cool,” Shaftan said in his best Jersey Shore manner. “But like, he didn’t say that. It was like kind of like, I don’t know, it was like what a gay guy would say to a stripper.”

Now that the meme is set, you can expect Republicans to keep making use of it.