The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Arguments For, and Against, Linda McMahon


As I’ve made clear below, I’m not enamored with WWE or the idea of Linda McMahon as the Republican standard-bearer in Connecticut. But for fairness’s sake, here are some takes on her campaign from readers in Connecticut, some positive, some negative.

First, the case for McMahon (and against Simmons):

I am a great fan of your work especially “Morning Jolt” which I subscribe to and enjoy reading everyday. Because I’m familiar with your work I’m surprised by your affinity for Rob Simmons. I am a life-long Connecticut Republican of the Reaganite variety. While Mr. Simmons’ Vietnam service and military record are exemplary and praise-worthy, his tenure in Connecticut politics has shown him to be a RINO of the first order. He worked for “Republican” Senator John Chaffee of Rhode Island and has often cited him as his mentor and model. Following this Chaffee model, he has always been pro-choice and socially liberal. His liberalism was recently exemplified by this Hartford Courant opinion piece which reveals his love letter to Jimmy Carter:

I would postulate that anyone who calls Jimmy Carter “the best” is unfit for high office and certainly unfit to be the standard bearer for the Republican party in Connecticut. Now I am no fan of the WWE and I frankly don’t know how it will play politically, but Ms. McMahon is a politcal outsider in an year that is shaping up as a good year for outsiders, she will self-finance to the tune of $50 million in a state where Republicans traditionally run grossly underfunded campaigns, and she has already shown a willingness to mix it up with Mr. Blumenthal as exhibited by her exposure of his Vietnam lies. Trust me when I tell you that a Republican’s willingness to take the fight to the Democrat is a refreshing change here in Connecticut where all too often Republican candidates (Mr. Simmons included) are all to willing to present themselves as a milder echo rather than a choice. So while I respect your opinion and analysis, I respectfully disagree with your thoughts aout Mr. Simmons. I would rather take my chances with Ms. McMahon than elect another Chaffee, Collins, Snowe or Specter.

I knew that Simmons was not a down-the-line conservative, but he was solid, straightforward, and, I thought, capable of winning in a pretty Democratic state.

Another salutes McMahon’s entrepreneurship:

A few points.  I 100% agree that Rob Simmons has a great resume, but he got beat fair and square by McMahon.  He lost a house seat he shouldn’t have, and frankly hasn’t been a very impressive candidate this time around.You’re underestimating McMahon. I know it’s easy to talk-down WWE, but they’re a billion-dollar corporation with over 500 employees in CT (not including wrestlers, who are all technically independent contractors).  Linda has been engaged in Connecticut civics, and WWE has registered millions of new voters over the last 10 years at their live shows.

A candidate who turns a carnival side-show into a major global corporation deserves consideration.  Was she ‘on-screen’ from time to time?  Yes. But she was mainly the CEO of the company.  You going to blame the CEO of Coca-Cola if he runs for senate because he has money, and his product causes obesity? Judge McMahon’s candidacy on it’s merits, and then factor in she can spend $50 Million to win a seat we have no chance of winning otherwise.

But here’s a skeptic:

A sizable minority of my co-workers live in Connecticut and as of two weeks ago, to a man, they would all be voting for the GOP in the fall. A few of them are going to vote libertarian now, but as of now not a single one is planning of voting for McMahon and most people feel obligated to vote for Blumenthal. To be honest i think that’s right, and he’s terrible. The seat was a reach anyway, but we could have forced them to spend some money up there. Heartbreaking, one step forward two steps back.

Tags: Linda McMahon , Rob Simmons


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