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There was a coffee-spewing moment in Connecticut's U.S. Senate race this week, when the Stamford Advocate, in a story in its Sunday edition on the trappings of wealth emerging in state politics, disclosed that Linda McMahon and her husband own a 47-foot powerboat named Sexy Bitch.
I'll try to not mention the name again here, because, well, it's crude, quite possibly offensive to many readers and hardly appropriate for a family newspaper.
Still, voters should know.
What I can't imagine is how anyone could pick that name for a boat, paint it on the transom and wave from it to passers-by.
Does the name appear on T-shirts and hats worn by crew, or on the boat's glasses, dishes and towels?
What would happen if the boat started to sink and you had to call the Coast Guard? Wouldn't you be embarrassed to identify yourself?
And what if Linda McMahon were to win? The next time SB powers into a Connecticut harbor, attracting finger pointing and snickers, could parents point with pride and say: "Look kids, there's our senator!"
Maybe I'm a prude on this, but I think her boat's name is reason alone to question McMahon's suitability for the job. Another good one is that she's hardly ever even bothered to vote.
Where are the family-values Republicans when you need them?
If SB does McMahon any damage, it wouldn't be the first time a boat with an inappropriate name helped sink a candidate for national office. Remember how Monkey Business quickly dashed Gary Hart's presidential hopes?
One of McMahon's other opponents in the senate race, Rob Simmons of Stonington, couldn't have a more different boat name. His modest 22-foot sailboat is Yang Min Shan, which is Mandarin for Far Bright Mountain, where Simmons once lived in Taiwan.
The Advocate also disclosed that Connecticut gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley has a boat even grander than McMahon's, 100 feet long, named Odalisque, which translates to slave woman in an Ottoman harem. That's like SB, but with class, I suppose. But then that's a boat from another race.
A Simmons spokesman, when I asked, described McMahon's "demeaning name for her yacht" as "alarming, though not surprising," for a candidate that has bragged about "marketing sexually explicit programming that celebrated the degradation of women."
A McMahon spokesman, when I asked about SB, first tried to suggest that there are lots of outrageously named boats in Boca Raton, Fla., where it is homeported. But I wonder how many of the people who own them are also running for U.S. Senate.
He called back later to report that the Coast Guard, which documented McMahon's boat, prohibits indecent or profane language in a boat name.
"Because it was approved by the Coast Guard it's not deemed to be over the line," the spokesman said.
I'm sorry, but that's lame. The decency bar should just a lot higher than that for someone who wants to be a senator.
The spokesman told me that Linda McMahon owns the boat with her husband, Vince, who has stayed behind to run the couple's World Wrestling Entertainment empire, while his wife expensively polishes her new role as aspiring candidate, with an eye to polls instead of ratings.
Vince McMahon, he said, came up with the name of the boat.
That figures, given McMahon's somewhat sex-obsessed public persona.
In a 2002 interview with Playboy, for instance, McMahon said the players in his now defunct football league should be able to use the F-word because it "refers to my favorite thing to do in life." Of his Boss Hoss motorcycle, with its Chevy V8 engine, he said: "Having that much power between your legs is like having a 12-foot penis."
McMahon admitted to serial infidelities at one time in his marriage to Linda and boasted that he is a "giver," both in the wrestling ring and sexually with women.
McMahon also told Playboy he's not interested in being politically correct.
That may certainly be true. But it may also be more of a problem now, given his wife's sudden interest in acquiring a career in politics.
This is the opinion of David Collins.