Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Connecticut Smackdown?

This is amusing. Linda McMahon, The CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment and wife of fake sports impresario Vince McMahon, is throwing her hat into the GOP primary race for Connecticut Senator. The winner will face 5-term Senator Chris Dodd.

This is interesting to me because of the precedent-- looking at the roster of celebrities that have dabbled in politics, it seems rather one-sided in that they tend to be conservatives. I live a scant 40 minutes from Palm Springs, the stomping grounds of the late Sonny Bono, a Republican mayor and congressman. Of course, Californians are contending with our celebrity GOP governor as well. NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swann was the Republican nominee for PA governor in 2006, and is rumored to be considering challenging Arlen Specter. Clint Eastwood was the mayor of Carmel, having run and won as a Republican. The most obvious parallel is Jessie Ventura's tenure as governor of Minnesota.

For the left, we have Al Franken, after a tooth-and-nail fight with Norm Coleman. Jerry Springer doesn't really count, as he was a politician before he was a celebrity, and he isn't in politics anymore. I know I'm missing likely a lot of examples, but it seems on the face of it, the GOP has more celebrities involved in politics than the left. In many ways, George W. Bush was something of a celebrity, in that he was the son of a president with no accomplishments of note when he defeated Ann Richards for the Texas governorship.

This is all of little consequence, though I find it odd that there is this refrain in the discourse about out of touch celebrities (elitist Hollywood liberals, etc.) coming from the right. As far as the Connecticut senate race goes, I hope Linda McMahon wins the primary; Dodd is by some measure vulnerable, but I can't see salt of the earth New Englanders voting for the CEO of the WWE.