WWE CEO Linda McMahon to lay political smackdown on Chris Dodd
Linda McMahon, best known as CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (yep, that's WWE, home to over-muscled "wrestlers" hurling folding chairs at each other), is leaving her post to challenge Sen. Chris Dodd (D) of Connecticut for the US Senate seat he's held for five terms.
"I am 100 percent serious about this race," she said Wednesday of her bid for the Republican nomination.
But "serious" is not a word often associated with the WWE, known for its melodramatic storylines and faux wrestling moves. Mrs. McMahon, the wife of Vince McMahon, WWE's public bossman and ringmaster, says she was largely the behind-the-scenes brains of the company, which she points out has grown from 13 to 300 employees under her watch.
Still, she'll have to contend with YouTube videos which argue the contrary.
How many politicians do you know that were "tombstoned" (translation: dropped on their heads) by a giant bald man in full-body spandex – albeit while wearing a pantsuit?
Ok, maybe more than you'd think.
Jesse Ventura, the former governor of Minnesota, proved that pro-wrestling credentials aren't necessary a no-go with voters. Mr. Ventura, a.k.a. "The Body" (and later known as "The Governing Body") transformed himself into a politician, first with a stint as mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minn., before running for governor in 1998 as an Independent. He only served one term as governor and did not seek reelection.
After all, at their core, WWE wrestlers are just actors. In that respect, McMahon could join the ranks of actors-turned-politicians Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) (who, like Ventura, first rode his muscles to fame), President Ronald Reagan, Sen. Al Franken (D) and former Sen. Fred Thompson (R).
Still, it's an uphill battle in what will likely be a crowded field of candidates. But one McMahon, who currently serves on Connecticut's Board of Education, says she's ready for. She'll largely self-finance her campaign (she can afford it – WWE is worth $1 billion according the New York Times) and says she won't accept campaign donations over $100 so as not to be beholden to any special interests.
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