Linda McMahon was recently interviewed by Business Week about her recent campaign loss. Here are the highlights…
Realizing she had lost the election: "I was sitting by myself, actually. I had just taken a moment to go upstairs and get my thoughts together on what I was still hoping would be a victory speech. I was just sitting there, going over my speech—clearly you have a concession speech as well, but you're hoping that's not the one you use. I wasn't paying that much attention to the TV. This was about 40 minutes after the polls closed. Then I looked up and saw a check mark next to Chris Murphy's name on ABC. I barely caught it out of the corner of my eye. I just thought, "Wow." I was stunned for a moment. I sat there for a few minutes on my own, reflecting on what the race had been. I thought about the thousands of people who not only had touched me but whom I had touched as well. All the notes, "Thank you for running. Thank you for showing me that it's worth putting everything on the line," and things like that."
What She Learned from the First Race: "I felt I really needed to have my thoughts and plan written down so people could see it. Because of the associations with WWE, I wasn't resonating with women so that became a priority, so we started something called "Conversations with Linda." "
Why She Ran Again: "What really got me in the race the first time was looking at where our economy was. There didn't seem to be businesspeople focusing on that. After I lost, I just kept watching. I had four little grandchildren when I first decided to run in 2009. By the end of the year, I had six. It just wasn't fair for these kids to be shouldering such debt and to then grow up in an economy that didn't offer the same opportunity that their grandfather and I had. I don't want to minimize the job of a senator. It's not just about the economy, but that was the biggest gap we had. When Senator [Joe] Lieberman announced he was retiring, I thought it was time to reach out again. I knew the opportunity would probably never come back again for me."
Whether the $97 Million was 'Well Spent Money': "I feel really good about what I've accomplished. So many people have said, "You've made me think that I can do something. You've made me look at things a new way." I think people were more thoroughly convinced the second time around that I was passionate about these issues. I found that I had a special following among 12- to 14-year-old girls. I was incredibly flattered. When I asked a mother about it, she said, "You have become a role model for these girls." "
Her Future: "One thing I'll continue to do is our philanthropic work. I'm not really focused right now on what happens next. I don't really anticipate running for public office again. I think I've given that a really good, strong shot. At this moment, it's not a consideration. Things can always change but it's not something I anticipate right now."