PLAINFIELD – The big blue campaign bus disgorged its contents and a white-clad figure alighted on the sidewalk in front of City Hall, accompanying Newark Mayor Cory Booker amid local cheers on the eve of the U.S. Senate Special Election.
It was television star Eva Longoria, here in part to deflect Wall Street headlines away from Booker with a heavy dose of eye shadow and populist princess vibes.
“Stake your claim and vote for Cory Booker tomorrow,” Longoria told the crowd of 100 encamped in the heat.
“I think we claim him as a Latino,” added the Mexican American from Texas, who praised Booker as a good friend and great leader, whose “compassion supersedes his great intelligence.”
Booker met Longoria when he served as a surrogate for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.
That was when he said he was sickened by ads by the Obama Campaign that targeted Bain Capital – and consequently sickened Obama allies who wanted Booker to rip the heads off the Mitt Romney Campaign not look for ways to make nice with the rich and powerful.
Longoria represented the pleasant part of what was an embattled effort by Booker on Obama’s behalf,a and she surfaced today with the bearing of someone who had done this before.
“They used to tell me when I’d show up as a surrogate, ‘Nice to meet you, but is Eva coming back?’” Booker delighted in front of the crowd, organized in large part of Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-22), chairman of the Union County Democratic Party.
Dodging brickbats on his way into Election Day as stories in The New York Times and New York Post have both called into question Booker’s investor ties while serving as mayor of Newark, the front-running Senate candidate in the Democratic primary chose broad strokes at the podium behind a mobbed rope line.
“There’s too much violence and too much crime,” he shouted. “We are here today because of a conspiracy of love.”
Plainfield occupies an interesting political crossroads in this election.
Prior to 2011 redistricting, Union County’s Queen city was in U.S. Rep. Pallone’s (D-6) district.
Then U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-12) absorbed it into the twelfth.
Both Pallone and Holt want to beat Booker tomorrow and become the next senator.
At least one vibrant local voice – Councilwoman Rebecca Williams – a self-professed progressive – wants Holt to win.
Councilman Adrian Mapp, who won the Democratic Primary for mayor, ousting veteran Sharon Robinson-Briggs – is staying neutral. He wants to be able to work with Holt, but for the time being, “Holt is an unknown.”
The longtime power broker at the center of Plainfield politics, Green made clear today his alignment with Booker.