Connecticut Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon is taking on political attacks over her past as CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, with its absurdist simulated violence and sex: It’s all just a “soap opera” that “isn’t real,” she says in a new TV ad.
“I was the CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment — a soap opera that entertains millions every week. And everyone gets in on the action,” McMahon says, with the screen cutting to a montage of wacky pro-wrestling footage, some of which even includes McMahon herself in the ring. McMahon then says: “That isn’t real. But our problems are.”
McMahon faces a similar problem as Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) did in his 2008 campaign, which he just barely won after a protracted recount, of getting voters to take her seriously and look beyond some of her raunchy content. A clear difference, though, is that Franken’s dirtier material was only a portion of his overall work — while for McMahon, the crazier material is nearly the entire output of WWE.
The TPM Poll Average gives Democratic state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal a lead over McMahon of 52.5%-37.0%.
For comparison, here’s a Franken ad that took on the same political problem. “Minnesotans expect a real debate. Instead, Norm Coleman and his allies are attacking me for things I said as a comedian,” said Franken. “Look, I’m not proud of every joke I’ve ever told. But I know there’s a difference between what you say as a comedian, and what you do as a U.S. Senator.”