First up is Mediaite’s Josh Feldman:
Having to give a speech after you’ve lost a political campaign is rough and awkward enough, but somehow New Jersey Republican Senate candidate Steve Lonegan managed to make it slightly more awkward with a strange reaction to his wife touching his shoulder.
Lonegan, who lost to Newark Mayor Cory Booker, was delivering his concession speech and his wife, apparently consoling him in defeat, placed her hand on his shoulder, and Lonegan immediately and very noticeably brushed it aside and kept talking.
And now the awkward moment has been GIF’d for eternity.
Feldman then offers up this pathetic update, failing to note his entire post is invalidated by the fact that Lonegan is friggen BLIND! Also notice how he uses “legally blind,” as a way to play it down, almost like he just has bad eyesight. The fact is Lonegan can not see, he lost his sight when he was 14-years-old due to the disease retinitis pigmentosa. He relies on aides to guide him around, they whisper names in his ear when someone approaches.
UPDATE: For the sake of context, we should point out that Lonegan is legally blind.
And then we have the New York Daily News, which fails to mention the fact that he’s blind:
From the looks of it, you’d have thought he’d run against his wife.
During his concession speech to Cory Booker, New Jersey Republican Senate candidate Steve Lonegan combatively pushed his wife’s hand from his shoulder and nonchalantly continued on his with address.
The awkward moment was caught on video and put on Internet, where it quickly went viral Thursday. [...]
“I’m hoping God will be with him in the decisions he makes as he goes into the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C.,” Lonegan said.
Lonegan’s wife, standing by his side, began to gently massage his left shoulder in an apparent gesture of comfort for the evening’s loser.
But after about 20 seconds, Lonegan suddenly bristled and brushed-off his wife’s affection.
Update: Lonegan’s wife Lorraine rips media’s “bullying tactics.”
(NJ.com) — Lorraine Lonegan, the wife of New Jersey U.S. Senate candidate Steve Lonegan, says she’s hurt over a video that went viral this week that purportedly shows her husband brush her hand away during his emotional concession speech Wednesday night.
What the video actually shows, she says, is her husband brushing away what he thought was a handler who was attempting to position him toward the cameras and the crowd.
Steve Lonegan is legally blind and his aides are often seen guiding him and using subtle hand signals to maneuver him into position.
“All throughout this campaign we have been assisting him with different hand signals and we were assisting him greatly during the concession speech,” Lorraine Lonegan said.
She said later in the video you can see her husband refer to her and turn in the wrong direction, which demonstrates he didn’t know where she was standing behind him. [...]
Lorraine Lonegan said she’s disappointed in the mindset that caused the video to go viral, because she’s a teacher of 3-year-olds and her main focus is on respect.
“I try to teach them to be kind to each other and respect each other and this feels like a bullying tactic against someone with a disability,” she said.
HT: Phil Kerpen