At her Senate hearing to win confirmation as head of the Small Business Administration, World Wrestling Entertainment executive Linda McMahon is to be introduced by her bitterest Democratic rivals, Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal.
“Politics can’t work if grudges never vanish,’’ Murphy said in a tweet Friday announcing he was “proud’’ to introduce McMahon at her so-far unscheduled hearing before the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.
McMahon visited Murphy in his Washington office Thursday, and met with Blumenthal, last week.
Murphy’s conciliatory words were a sharp contrast from the 2012 Senate campaign, when GOP candidate McMahon dismissed Murphy as an irresponsible deadbeat who missed mortgage and tax payments.
In a similar race in 2010, the guiding light of Stamford-based WWE (along with her husband, Vince McMahon) ridiculed Blumenthal as a career politician who never had to meet a payroll.
Both Murphy and Blumenthal gave as good they got. Murphy’s campaign criticized McMahon for late property tax payments on the couple’s Trump Parc condo in Stamford.
And Blumenthal slammed McMahon on WWE and its involvement in steroid abuse, glorification of violence and denigration of women.
“She has put profits ahead of people,’’ Blumenthal said.
McMahon lost both of her Senate races by 12 points after spending nearly $100 million of her wrestling fortune.
After President-elect Donald Trump picked her to head the SBA, McMahon embarked on the time-tested ritual of nominees needing to make the best presentation at confirmation hearings: visiting home-state senators to say kind words.
If there had been any awkwardness or misgivings in McMahon’s exchanges with Blumenthal and Murphy, they were not in evidence on Friday.
Murphy was said to have a full schedule Friday and was unavailable for comment.
For his part, Blumenthal waved aside any thought that bygones could not be bygones.
“I live in the real world, and my job is to work for Connecticut and fight for our state,’’ he said by phone. McMahon, he said, “is a person of serious accomplishments and abilities who can help Connecticut by giving us assistance in creating jobs and aiding small businesses.’’
But what about all the finger-pointing, the vitriol, the wounds that don’t heal? Apparently in the world of politics, that’s not much of a problem.
“I have to put aside whatever my personal feelings might be about the campaign,’’ Blumenthal said. “I asked her about her commitment to Connecticut and she gave me the impression she’s going to remember where she comes from.’’
In the final analysis, he added, “I overcame my personal feelings long ago. Now I’m really focused on doing what’s best for Connecticut.’’