Linda McMahon: Political Novice or Executive Powerhouse?

Melanie Rovinsky

In the political sea of Connecticut liberals, a conservative candidate is lucky to get a nod of acknowledgement in his or her direction. Fortunately, Republican Senatorial candidate Linda McMahon has already mastered the art of gaining public attention.

McMahon, former Chief Executive Officer of the World Wrestling Entertainment company, has built a platform based on creating jobs, exercising fiscal responsibility, boosting the private sector, and minimizing the influence of special interests. However, many of McMahon’s strong points are being overshadowed by her involvement in the WWE.

While some of McMahon’s critics claim that her campaign is nothing more than a joke, she takes her candidacy very seriously. Calling attention to Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator, McMahon believes that voters can separate her acting role from her genuine political intentions.

But McMahon’s past is not just working against her. In 1976, after a few failed investments, McMahon and her husband, Vince, found themselves homeless and penniless. Taking care of their 7-year-old son and expecting their second child, the McMahon’s filed for bankruptcy.

“I think pain and embarrassment are two absolutely appropriate terms,” McMahon said in an interview at her West Hartford campaign headquarters.

The McMahon’s bounced back, however, forming a multi-billion dollar company that created over 500 jobs and operated globally. McMahon’s supporters capitalize on her ability to financially rebuild her family as one of the reasons she will be able to manage a budget, create jobs, and stimulate the economy.

And although McMahon is new to the political arena, she has always been active in public service. In 2005, McMahon was appointed to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America National Advisory Council. She supports various charitable organizations including the Starlight Children’s Foundation, United Service Organizations, and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. In addition, McMahon created the Get R.E.A.L Initiative, which promotes youth education and literacy. In 2009, Governor Jodi Rell appointed McMahon to the Connecticut Board of Education.

McMahon has carried her passion for public service into her own campaign. According to her campaign website,, “Linda has committed not to accept PAC money or special interest money,” and  “She will limit contributions to her campaign to $100.”

McMahon does not plan on cutting any corners, however. In an interview with ABC World News on January 9, McMahon admitted to saying she would spend 50 million of her own dollars on her campaign.

“I’m willing to spend what it takes,” she said.