As the New York Times reports, Linda McMahon comfortably won Connecticut's Republican Senate primary last night, just like she did in 2010. Though the Times claimed she had absorbed the lessons of her election defeat to Democrat Richard Blumenthal later that year, really the formula to her victory over Christopher Shays in the primary was the exact same one she had successfully used against Rob Simmons:
In defeating Christopher Shays, a former United States representative and longtime fixture in moderate politics in the state, Ms. McMahon underscored the power of being an outside candidate, as well as a wealthy one. She outspent her opponent nearly 12 to 1, and flooded the airwaves with advertisements promoting herself as a political maverick who could bring common sense to Washington...
Mr. Shays, who is on a first-name basis with many of his former Fairfield County constituents, earned the endorsement of Connecticut's major newspapers this year. But Ms. McMahon, absorbing the lessons of her defeat, waged a large campaign with an emphasis on jobs and her personal story, including her stewardship of World Wrestling Entertainment, which appeared to resonate with some voters Tuesday.
Really, if anything, the only difference between the campaigns so far is that she's distanced herself even farther from today's WWE. Any questions related to WWE are usually answered by Linda's spokesperson with a terse no comment or, if the reporter is lucky, an aloof soundbite that Linda is far too busy running a positive campaign about job creation to be able to waste any time talking about any pro wrestling distractions.
The fact that Linda hasn't really shaken up her game in the last two years makes it hard to foresee a scenario where she defeats her new Democrat opponent Chris Murphy, who also comfortably won his primary too. Based on current polling and gut feeling, The NY Times' Nate Silver, rates the odds of her winning at just 10%, which may be too generous. In November 2010, Blumenthal defeated her by a whopping 12%, despite the political winds being in the favour of Republican candidates in general at the time and Blumenthal turning out to be a surprisingly stiff, lame duck candidate that had at times misrepresented himself as having served in Vietnam. So far, Murphy hasn't shown any such weaknesses and no dirt has been found on him by McMahon's campaign team.
Linda has chosen a rallying cry that will make her popular with Tea Party extremists by crowing that "we need to give all these career politicians in Washington who have agreed to this mess a pink slip", but one wonders how well that will play to more moderate voters. Of course, there's the hypocrisy that the company her husband still owns, WWE, was all too happy to receive an $8.3 million tax break through Barack Obama's stimulus package that was designed to save jobs, yet they still gave 10% of their workforce the pink slip. Not just hypocrisy, but irony too, as Chris Powell noted that there were a few career politicians with her on stage, cheering her on. Which makes one suspect that for all the talk of being an outside maverick, she won't rock the party boat too much, if she ever gets elected.
One Connecticut voter, Kellie Kowalsky, was quoted as saying Linda's inexperience in government was "an absolute plus". She may want to consider how that turned out for Minnesota when they elected Jesse "The Body" Ventura for a controversial four year run as their Governor.