It started when Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democrat running for Senate, enlisted Snooki – real name: Nicole Polizzi – to film a personalized Cameo message for his Republican opponent, Mehmet Oz – more widely known as Dr. Oz, the former Oprah-approved medical talk show host.
On Cameo, users pay celebrities to send personalized video messages and provide as many (or as few) details to the celebrities so they can tailor their video. It seems Fetterman told Polizzi that “Mehmet,” whom she addresses in the video, recently moved from New Jersey to Pennsylvania in search of a new profession.
“I heard that you moved from New Jersey to Pennsylvania to look for a new job,” Polizzi said in the clip, which Fetterman tweeted on Thursday. “I want to say best of luck to you. I know you’re away from home, and you’re in a new place, but Jersey will not forget you.”
She concluded with a dig that was likely unintentional: “And don’t worry! Because you’ll be back home in Jersey soon enough. This is only temporary.”
Fetterman shared the video on Twitter, tagging Oz, and wrote “JERSEY loves you + will not forget you!!!”
It’s unclear whether Polizzi was in on the joke, and so far, she hasn’t commented on the video. As of Friday morning, though, she’s still available to book on Cameo starting at $300.
The Pennsylvania official has no qualms about trolling his opponent: He sells a “Dr. Oz for NJ” sticker and paid for a plane banner sarcastically welcoming Oz “home to NJ,” a dig at Oz for running for office in Pennsylvania after spending years living in the Garden State. (Per CNN’s Daniel Dale, though Oz attended the University of Pennsylvania and two of his children were born there, he for years lived in a New Jersey mansion. He’s registered to vote in Pennsylvania at his in-laws’ address, where his campaign said he’s living while a new property is built for him.)
MSNBC contributor Sam Stein reported that the Snooki clip cost the campaign over $390.
Oz responded to Fetterman’s Snooki shoutout with a screengrab of a video of Chris Miyares, who in 2013 was jogging near Fetterman’s home when Fetterman chased him down while armed with a shotgun. Fetterman, then mayor of Braddock, said he suspected Miyares of firing a gun, but Miyares said he was unarmed. Last year, Miyares told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he doesn’t believe the episode should impact Fetterman’s Senate bid.
Polizzi, meanwhile, is currently starring on MTV’s “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation” with original cast members Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and Jenni “JWoww” Farley, among others.