Former WWE CEO Linda McMahon fails to buy herself a Senate seat — again

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

They say money can't buy happiness. Apparently, it can't buy elections either.

In 2010, Linda McMahon — wife of Vince McMahon of WWE and XFL fame — spent $50 million of her own money in a failed attempt to win a Senate seat in Connecticut.

On Tuesday, she tried again — this time spending 'only' $47 million. And once again, she lost.

ABC News calls it "the costliest race in the state's history", reporting that the Republican candidate outspent her competitor — now Senator-elect Chris Murphy (Dem.) — by about $20 million.

In, what some might call typical WWE fashion, McMahon actually used some of the $47 million to exercise some last minute trickery. According to the Connecticut Mirror,  the staunch Republican outfitted "urban poll standers" with T-shirts that read: 'I support Obama & McMahon.'

"The shirts are part of an effort by McMahon to blunt the urban vote Murphy needs in Hartford, Bridgeport and New Haven, where her workers also have left literature urging a vote for Obama and McMahon," notes the article.

"By her own account, McMahon remains an enthusiastic support of Mitt Romney."

[ Full coverage of the 2012 U.S. election ]

Alas, her money and  her antics didn't pay off; Murphy won the election by a commanding margin.

But McMahon wasn't the only big-spender thwarted on Tuesday.

CNN had reported that casino magnate Sheldon Adelson publicly stated that he would come very close to "contributing $100 million" this year towards defeating President Barack Obama and electing Republicans to Congress.

And in Michigan, Matty Maroun, the owner of the Ambassador Bridge had spent about $40 million of his own money promoting a proposition, that if passed, would have stymied the development of a new Michigan-Windsor bridge. Apparently, Maroun was trying to protect his bridge monopoly that brings him over $80 million a year in revenues.

[ Related: Michigan voters clear the road for a new Detroit-Windsor bridge ]

A recent Reuters article noted that history hasn't been kind to those who try to buy themselves into office either:

"John Kerry lent more than $6 million to fund his Iowa caucus drive in 2003. Hillary Clinton lent her campaign over $11 million four years later. Steve Forbes gave his 1996 campaign $32 million, and spent nearly $37 million four years after that. Ross Perot spent $63 million to finish strongly in 1992, back when that was real money."

Certainly, personal wealth can play a role in winning an election in the United States.

But it's good to know that it's not the be all and end all.