The Republican nominee for Senator from Connecticut is former WWE chief executive Linda McMahon, whose yacht is named Sexy Bitch, who once publicly kicked her husband in the crotch — and who knows how women really talk to each other.
McMahon has vowed to spend $50 million in the race against Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. Democrats' best shot in holding onto what was Chris Dodd's seat appears to be blowing up the nasty WWE details, despite the company's best efforts to go PG recently. Here was the DNC's statement:
"Today the party of Bob Dole, Jack Kemp and Dick Lugar nominated a candidate who kicks men in the crotch, thinks of scenes of necrophilia as ‘entertainment,' and runs an operation where women are forced to bark like dogs. This is what has become of the once grand old party."
What are they talking about? Well, here's a 2002 clip one of her opponents in the Republican primary uploaded to YouTube, in which two women strip down to thong bikinis, make out, and then get beat up and jumped on by two burly guys. (Um. Trigger warning.)
The McMahon family was often at the center of the action, performing as a dysfunctional family in the ring. At about 1:20 in this video, a young woman begs McMahon's husband Vince for forgiveness, he yells at her to take her clothes off, get on her knees, and bark like a dog.
Here's how her supporters plan to deal with this: they're going to crown her a formidable businesswoman who isn't afraid of a bunch of tough guys:
One Republican delegate told Business Week, "She went from zero and built up that corporation. She can deal with the Senate. She's dealt with testosterone before." She's also been called the Margaret Thatcher of wrestling. And the chairman of NBC Sports told The New York Times, "If anybody thinks she is the little woman, they are out of their minds. She put the business together." Another former collaborator said, ""She's competed in a man's world and never been intimidated."
Also, two words: soap opera. That's the phrase the McMahon campaign has repeated endlessly, including in the script for the commercial above, oh-so-subtly aimed at affluent white Republican women, and by McMahon herself at every opportunity. It's not just because the fighting is staged. It's also because, let's face it, ladies, we love our soap operas! She really gets us.
Here's McMahon on Nighlight invoking the "soap opera" line in response to being reminded of the fact that her daughter was repeatedly greeted with shouts of "SLUT! SLUT! SLUT!" while entering the arena.
"As a mother, was there ever a time when you were sorta creeped out by your own product?" ABC's Bill Weir asked.
It's a "soap opera," she said. "So sure, there are story lines that are better than others."
(Bonus: At the end of this Nightline video, you can watch McMahon kick her husband in the crotch.)
Meanwhile, wrestlers are independent contractors without benefits who, thanks to McMahon's wrangling to classify the company's events as entertainment and not sport, also lack basic health protections. Jesse Ventura is said to have ruined his WWE career by trying to organize them into a union. Steroid use is said to be rampant, though when Representative Henry Waxman declared as much in after an investigation, WWE's lawyer told The Times he was a "blowhard." And as Politico reported earlier this year, several male employees were accused of sexually harassing a teenage boy who worked behind the scenes, a complex situation McMahon managed to defuse with a meeting, firing the accused (though one of them got his job back) and sending a car and $5,000 for the thirteen-year-old accuser to go shopping.
But guys, at least she's pro-choice!*
McMahon Wins GOP Senate Nomination In Connecticut [The Hill]
The Smackdown Candidate [BW]
McMahon Tackles WWE Past Head-On In New Campaign Spot [Yahoo News]
Exclusive: Linda McMahon on Pro Wrestling, Sarah Palin [ABCNews]
*With caveats: "I'm opposed to partial-birth abortion, and I favor parental notification."