LITTLE FALLS – The oddest campaign imaginable ended tonight in a cold parking lot under a full moon with Rep. Mikie Sherrill saying the president “doesn’t understand America.”
A hundred or so cars were parked before her in a pandemic-era Get Out The Vote rally.
Candidates normally offer up mere platitudes and cliches in these settings, but Sherrill’s speech was a cut above that.
She talked of entering the Naval Academy precisely 30 years ago, explaining, “I wanted to be part of that group of people who protected our county.”
And she stressed the need to serve a cause greater than oneself by mentioning Thomas Paine’s condemnation of the “summer soldier” and “sunshine patriot” who shrink from service when times get rough.
Rather than do that, Sherrill said that while in Congress she and other like-minded souls have cried out against racism, attempts to weaken health care opportunities and unjust tax cuts.
The Paine reference was fitting, given the fact the famous writer has a statue in his honor in Morristown, one of the principal locales in CD-11.
Sherrill brought Donald Trump into the picture by reminding supporters of published reports claiming he had called military volunteers and draftees “suckers” and “losers.”
“I’m here to tell you nothing could be further from the truth,” she said.
Democrats have staged few in-person events this campaign season because of the pandemic. Instead of applause, supporters had to make do with beeping their car horns.
Nonetheless, Sherrill urged the crowd to remember, if not revel in, the moment.
“This marks the beginning of a new period in our nation,” she said with an eye to Election Day.
The rally wrapped up with an appropriate Jersey ending – the congresswoman on stage with her family amid beeping horns and Springsteen’s iconic Born to Run blaring from the loud speakers.