The race to the race to the White House has begun with quarter billionaire Mitt Romney storming into the lead after the first two Republican primaries. Which means that the battle to choose the next Republican candidate for the retiring Joe Liebermann's Connecticut Senate seat is starting to heat up too. The even richer Linda McMahon would like to share in Romney's success, but faces the same image problems that Romney has. The accusation that they're aloof patricians who have lost sight of the needs of the common man on the street and will say anything to buy an election for their own gain. However, Linda has a bigger uphill battle, as she was the former CEO of WWE from 1997-2009, a period where the culture of death within the pro wrestling industry reached its peak, which is a much less respectable profession to earn your wealth in than management consultancy and private equity. This is her Achilles' heel, which both Rob Simmons and Dick Blumenthal exploited to varying degrees of success in Linda's first run for Senate in 2010.
So it should come as no surprise that Christopher Shays, who can't compete with Linda's money or her popularity with the local Tea Party base, is aggressively using the same line of attack to try and convince Republican voters that she's unelectable in a general election, and to vote for him instead. Earlier this week to the Connecticut Post, Shays rudely pooh poohed her credentials as a "proven" job creator and a fiscal conservative by respectively citing the poor industrial safety record under her watch and the vast amount of cash she spent on her last failed campaign:
Let's think about it: She's got over 41 people 50 years and younger who've died in her jobs. That's quite a job record that she's created....
There's no way people believe she's a fiscal conservative if she's willing to waste $50 million. There is nothing about McMahon that intimidates me because I think you can't buy an election. I know you can't buy an election....
While she was in her entertainment business, which promotes bullying, I was balancing the federal budget and creating 8 million federal jobs. While I was doing that, she was in the entertainment business making millions. Some people ended up dying because of it. It's all part of her record.
Shays also accused Linda's campaign team of lying to people that he had dropped out of the race to make her the presumptive nominee before it had even began.
Linda, through her campaign spokeswoman, Erin Isaac, wisely ignored the troll, as this is a subject that whatever she says the facts reflect badly on her, instead focusing on her boring yet safe campaign pitch:
Nearly 160,000 people woke up in Connecticut without a job this morning. Linda spent her day talking with folks about her plan to put them back to work. This positive message and Linda's proven record of job creation are exactly why she is endorsed by more than 1,800 hardworking families and small business owners and nearly 130 grassroots leaders across the state, including 20 Republican State Central Committee members and 60 Republican Town Committee chairs.
This "stress the positives, ignore the weaknesses" strategy may work in the more friendly Republican primary, but it's hard to see it being effective in the general election itself, given that those weaknesses are why Linda lost the last election and there's no sign that she's gaining any popularity with independents. Here we go again, as the McMahons squander tens of millions of dollars more on a venture more foolish than the WWE Network. Expect more of the same in the weeks and months to come.