As an old school pro wrestling announcer would say, when a babyface uses the same illegal tactics a heel does after his opponent cheated, turnabout is fair play. The same is true in politics. Linda McMahon has been owed a receipt by her former friend Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. for over a year now and yesterday she was finally delivered it.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the name Lowell P. Weicker Jr., he was an ultra successful career politician in the state of Connecticut, who was one of the most liberal Republican Senators in the U.S. Senate when he served from 1971-1989. Growing disillusioned with Republican politics, he formed the short-lived A Connecticut Party, but nonetheless still won a term as the Governor of Connecticut from 1991-1995, despite being a third party candidate. After his political career wound down, he served on WWE's Board of Directors from 1999-2011, and his national political influence likely came in useful for WWE during that scandal ridden time period.
However, Weicker Jr. didn't voluntarily step down as a WWE board member, but was actually forced out, ostensibly because the company, at the time, wanted a new corporate director who would offer a fresh take on their attempts to diversify their core wrestling business with the launch of a new WWE network. The real reason though was that he hadn't stood up for Linda McMahon during her 2010 election. Not only did Weicker Jr. fail to endorse her campaign (though he didn't endorse Richard Blumenthal either), he also disparaged her for trying to buy her office and being completely ignorant on the issue of health care reform in an interview to the New York Times two years ago.
Now that he's lost his cushy WWE part time job, which earned him about $150,000 in his last year on the board, the gloves are well and truly off. Yesterday, Weicker Jr. announced that he was backing McMahon's Democrat rival Chris Murphy in the 2012 Connecticut election. This time he gave a no holds barred burial of Linda's greed and political ignorance, rather than just a couple of sarcastic one-off digs at her expense:
[Murphy]'s given a lot of public service, whereas in the case of McMahon, it's been self-service and no public service, with the exception of a couple of meetings of the state Board of Education.
It's the ultimate corruption that says you don't have to earn the senator's job and it's out there on the table for the highest bidder.
He was also highly critical of Linda's attempts to brand Murphy as a lazy slacker for missing financial committee hearings, which has so far been to her advantage:
Weicker, who was the same age as the 39-year-old Murphy when he was elected to the Senate, called McMahon's criticism of Murphy's attendance record at committee hearings a "red herring," pointing out that the Democrat has a 97 percent voting record.
"That's the same (expletive) that Lieberman pulled on me," Weicker said.
This expected intervention by Weicker Jr. will still be a blow for Linda, as it will make it tougher for her to court moderate voters with no fixed political allegiance. However, it does play into her fiction that she's a political outsider trying to break up the old boy's club in Washington:
"It's funny that Lowell Weicker would make such strange comments about Linda McMahon since just two years ago he was quoted as saying Linda had `a fine mind and is a very decent person,' " McMahon spokesman Todd Abrajano said Thursday. "Weicker's current comments are transparent in their partisanship and represent nothing more than just another one of Chris Murphy's politically connected friends who has been deployed in an attempt to rescue the ethically challenged congressman's flailing campaign."
The reality is that Lowell P. Weicker Jr. was Linda McMahon's politically connected best friend until she used her wealth to get parachuted into two consecutive Connecticut U.S. Senate elections as the Republican candidate without paying her political dues. A place on the WWE board was enough for him to largely hold his tongue in 2010, but that wasn't enough for the McMahons and they kicked him to the curb just a few months after Linda lost the election. Of course, just like Linda's campaign, Weicker's choice to back Murphy this time around had "nothing to do, quite frankly, with WWE". If you believe that, then you'll believe anything.