Voters have been treated to a clash of titans in the U.S. Senate primary race — Connecticut's last U.S. House Republican vs. an enormously successful businesswoman with a compelling life story.
The Courant endorses Christopher Shays in the Aug. 14 Republican primary for his greater grasp of the issues, learned from two decades in Washington. But his rival is a close second for her moxie, magnetism and leadership skills.
Why Mr. Shays?
Mr. Shays, 66, of Bridgeport, has a long public-service resume representing the 4th Congressional District from 1987 until he lost to Democrat
Perhaps his finest hour was the Shays-Meehan campaign finance reform bill, the House version of the better-known McCain-Feingold law, which banned unregulated soft money until the Supreme Court gutted it in the 2010 Citizens United ruling.
His service has given him a vast store of policy knowledge. After his defeat, he put his expertise to use as co-chairman of a commission created by Congress to look into contracting waste in
Where he disappoints, however, is his capriciousness. He's backtracked on many issues, from a timeline for getting troops out of Iraq (as well as getting into the
Spending decades in Washington isn't always a strength. Nevertheless, he's more experienced in the tough arena of Congress and, even if not always easy to predict, as an exemplar of Connecticut's more moderate brand of Republicanism, he would represent the state well.
Why Not Ms. McMahon?
Ms. McMahon, 63, of
Those who suggest that her Senate races have been vanity trips underestimate this determined, unflappable candidate. Her 2010 Republican rival, former U.S. Rep.
She plays to the Republican base with her success story and the hope that she could help turn around the nation's dreary economy. Yes, "professional" wrestling is schlocky, sometimes risque entertainment. But taking a silly show from coliseums to TV deals and the
On social issues, she is in the moderate mold of Sens.