CT Senate: Best of three falls


The US Senate situation in Connecticut has been very unsettled, with Joe Lieberman (I-CT) falling so far from grace within his own party that he went from being its VP candidate in 2000 to an independent in 2008. Sen. Chris Dodds (D-CT) has had his problems as well, and now he has another in the form of a professional wrestling executive who may enter the race to be his next opponent.

Linda McMahon is CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, which she runs along with Chairman/Ringmaster Vince McMahon.

She will run as a Republican, and has made it clear that her candidacy is for real, going so far as to resign from WWE. COO Donna Goldsmith has already been tapped to assume McMahon’s duties.

WWE is based in Stamford CT and its programming is broadcast in 145 countries.

“Washington is out of control, and sadly, Sen. Chris Dodd has lost his way and our trust,” said McMahon in a statement. “I can’t sit by on the sidelines anymore knowing that I have both the experience and the strength to stand up to special interests and bring badly needed change to Washington.”

Seasoned politicians are also vying for the GOP nomination to run against Dodd, among them former US Rep. Rob Simmons (R-CT), who was one of the losers in the Democratic 2006 mid-term surge. According to the Hartford Courant, McMahon actually contributed to the Democrat Joe Courtney, who defeated Simmons.

Other prominent Republicans are either in the primary or considering a go at it, including a state legislator, a former ambassador and a media pundit.

RBR/TVBR observation: This candidacy is no joke, and the wrestling-to-politics trail has already been blazed by Jesse Ventura. McMahon, as an exec, starts on firmer footing than he did as a performer – but we still think it would be fun to see her open up the pro-wrestling bag of mayhem tricks at the first debate.

As a matter of fact, McMahon’s demonstrated willingness to cross party lines – in addition to supporting Courtney, she has donated money to the Democratic National Committee. In much of the country that would make her a pariah within her own party, and indeed it could come back to haunt her in the primaries – for that reason, the more crowded the primary, we’d guess the better for her.

If she does emerge from the primary, she will go before a general Connecticut electorate that seems to love that sort of behavior. Witness Lieberman, who was knocked clean out of the Democratic party by Ned Lamont during primaries, and who then turned around and knocked Lamont clean out of politics in the general.