For weekend reading, let me recommend this terrific piece by Matt Bai in Sunday's New York Times Magazine about the politics of his home state--and mine--Connecticut. The piece is sort of a joint profile of Linda McMahon and Richard Blumenthal that goes a long way toward explaining why a lot of people think McMahon could upset Blumenthal in November--despite the fact that she is, as Bai points out, utterly vacuous and the furthest thing from the blue-blooded Yankees who once dominated the state's Republican Party. In an earlier era, McMahon's connection to professional wrestling, steroids, and her history of personal bankruptcy (it's still not clear how many she's had) would have been far too déclassé for a political career. But with Connecticut voters in open revolt--driven as much by state corruption as frustration with Washington--McMahon's outsider status, and her shrewd awareness of how to leverage it (plus her $$$), have made this a real race. Blumenthal, too, is wonderfully rendered, not just as a guy who irreparably tarnished his saintly image by touting a bogus war record, but as someone who doesn't understand that he's caught in a maelstrom. Blumenthal also makes a painfully awkward blunder when dealing with Bai--but I won't spoil the surprise by revealing it. You can read it for yourself.
"I'm exploiting the maximum of what you can ask a piece of metal to do."