August 2nd, 2012
04:00 AM ET
By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN) – What do you get when you mix leopard print, pop group LMFAO's song "Sexy and I Know It" and a law student who calls herself the "diva of the district?"
Answer: Mindy Meyer's New York Senate campaign website.
After catapulting herself to internet stardom with her very pink campaign, the orthodox Jewish 22-year old from Brooklyn now tells CNN she is planning to "leave the pink at home" because of all the negative media attention she has received.
Meyer, a Republican who is challenging 10-year Democratic incumbent Kevin Parker, says she knew her website would raise eyebrows, but figured it would be limited to the local press. She now acknowledges that "it got a little bit out of hand."
That's probably an understatement. Meyer's website has cataloged 32 news stories about the Senate hopeful in recent days, from sites like Brooklyn Daily to the Jewish Daily Forward newspaper to MSNBC to ABC News and CNN.
Tabloids like The New York Post have had a field day with Meyer's candidacy, calling her Brooklyn's "magenta yenta," a reference to her Jewish faith (yenta is loosely defined as a gossip in Yiddish).
Mediate, a media website, described her site as "truly awful" and appealing "to the Jersey Shore-watching demographic," a reference to the MTV reality show.
Meyer said the website was just supposed to "make the younger voters excited, that is all it was."
"I am not here to make some pink campaign that is all ditzy and glamorous because I am a very serious person that stands firmly on my beliefs," she said this week. "I am not here to be a Barbie in the Senate."
A law student at Touro College in Central Islip, New York, Meyer is a former intern for Judge Francois Rivera in the Kings County Supreme Court. During an interview with CNN, Meyer repeatedly pointed to that experience as evidence she's a serious candidate.
On her website, Meyer highlights issues such as: opposing the New York Police Department’s so-called “stop and frisk” policy, supporting school choice, lowering crime, tackling poverty and unemployment and abortion, on which her stance isn’t exactly clear, though the site implies she is anti-abortion.
"My main goal is to be an advocate for my people," Meyer said. "What I am here to do is what they want. I actually went out to learn what they want and so I could formulate their platform based on that."
Meyer's website, which put her on the national map, is notably out of the norm for political campaigns, from Photoshopped images of herself in front of the U.S. Capitol to a banner that reads "I'm Senator and I Know It."
In light of the attention, Meyer says she is rethinking the site.
"I don't want to take it down and show failure," Meyer said. "I might consider making an additional website geared towards not just the young."
The site showcases Meyer's faith, saying she will "use religion as a moral compass and a guide."
Meyers' Orthodox Judaism, a tradition that preaches modesty and humility, is getting attention partly because her website seems to lack those qualities.
In the Bible's Book of Numbers, Moses is called "very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the Earth," and a set of rules known as the Tzniut stresses modesty in both dress and behavior for Orthodox Jews.
Meyer rejected suggestions that her site runs short on modesty. "Just because my website might be a little flamboyant, I am not dresssed immodestly," Meyer said. "There isn't anything wrong with any of it."
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.