McMahon's fantasy campaign
Linda McMahon's business, World Wide Wrestling Entertainment, is a business built on fantasy.
Beyond meeting the basic requirements of being over the age of 30 and a U.S. citizen, McMahon offers little evidence that she ever aspired to serve in public office. Even just voting, a basic civic duty, appears to have been spotty.
There is scant documentation that McMahon has written or spoken about her ideas for bettering our democracy until she began her quest for the U.S. Senate. This lack of contribution to the public arena of ideas doesn't square with her stated desire to "fix Washington."
McMahon's website proclaims, "improving public education is very dear to my heart." Perhaps, but her recent mailing states that she is a former member of the "State School Board." No such organization exists. Maybe it's just a typo, but for $10 million of campaign money and with education being such an important issue, greater attention to detail should be expected. For the record, it is the State Board of Education.
Next weekend Connecticut Republican Party delegates will decide between candidates of fantasy and reality. Living in fantasyland is McMahon. From the realities of the financial markets and military combat will be Peter Schiff and former congressman Rob Simmons, respectively.
Peter Schiff is a quixotic candidate who has supporters from across the country. Schiff predicted much of the economic collapse we are currently navigating. Unlike McMahon, Schiff has been in the arena of public debate for years. Most recently he served as economic advisor to U.S. Rep. Ron Paul's presidential campaign. If Connecticut Republicans are true fiscal conservatives Schiff will win the convention on the first ballot.
The McMahon campaign's "outsider" claim is false. She has made donations to politicians across the board. McMahon has played the Washington game. Her campaign is staffed with lobbyists and "insiders" from Hartford to Washington.
Two McMahon donations in 2006 must be particularly hard to swallow for Republican delegates. Connecticut Republican's favorite Democrat, Susan Bysiewicz, received $1,500. Speaker Nancy Pelosi's leadership PAC scored $10,000. That donation helped the Democrats win back the U.S. House of Representatives. McMahon gave nothing to the Simmons campaign in 2006.
Rob Simmons is Connecticut's Mr. Republican. For his entire life he has dedicated himself to the party of Lincoln. The record is impressive: Vietnam veteran, CIA operative, state representative, three-term member of Congress. Most impressive for delegates to consider is the defeat Simmons handed to liberal Sam Gejdenson in 2000. Simmons has a record of beating entrenched Democrats. Not writing checks to them.
Placing party before self, Simmons has publicly declared that should he not win the nomination, he will not force a primary but support the nominee of the convention. No such declaration yet from McMahon or Schiff.
McMahon's personal story from bankruptcy to millions is commendable. Yet nothing in that story or her vapid and saccharine policy platitudes offer much more than talk and words are cheap, unless you're willing to spend $50 million to say them.
It would be surreal to see the delegates of the party that professes to represent patriotism, family values and fiscal conservatism bypass a patriot and veteran, Rob Simmons, or a proven fiscal conservative such as Peter Schiff, for the Republican version of "hope and change."
McMahon has endured relentless criticism about how she made her fortune. The WWE markets to all ages wrestling matches that include everything from simulated sex acts to blood-filled cage matches until submission. What must be remembered is that all these wrestling matches are carefully choreographed. It's not real.
Next weekend the Connecticut Republican Party will need to decide if the McMahon campaign is real or just another WWE choreographed fantasy.
Ben Davol is a veteran of numerous local, state and federal political campaigns. Once a Republican organizer, he is now registered as unaffiliated.
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