Thursday, June 20, 2013
An interesting nugget, fresh from the inbox: Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins was in Connecticut Saturday stumping for senate candidate Linda McMahon, the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment.
"Both Collins and (Alaska Sen. Lisa) Murkowski said McMahon would bring a woman's common sense touch to the dysfunction of Washington. Murkowski noted that the Senate was in session into the wee hours of the morning on Saturday, 'and let me tell you, if the women were running the Senate, we wouldn't be voting at midnight.'
Collins said she and the 16 other women Senators gather for dinner every six weeks or so. One day, a male colleague asked what those dinners were all about. Collins said she smiled sweetly and responded that the women were planning a coup (de etat). 'And I can't think of a better person to help us execute that coup than Linda McMahon,' she said as the crowd cheered.
Collins and Murkowski have apparently been called on to help McMahon because she has a woman problem. That is, she's had trouble gaining support with women voters. Her loss to Sen. Richard Blumenthal in 2010 was widely attributed to polling that showed a chilly reception among women voters.
Some of that may be attributed to McMahon's policy positions, but her involvement with the WWE has also become a liability. McMahon wasn't just the CEO of the brutal, sex-laden -- some say sexist -- and totally fake wrestling league, she was a participant. In 2010, Mothers Opposing McMahon, a front group for the Connecticut Democratic State Central Committee, made heavy use of video footage from McMahon's in-ring appearances, including shots of her chugging a beer and wrestling her daughter, who entered the ring amid an unflattering chant directed at her sexual proclivities.
A 2010 story in the New York Times reported that McMahon's involvement with the WWE had a lasting impression among women. The story quoted one woman who said it was hard to take McMahon seriously.
Steve Mistler covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.