Party of Hill-Rod and Ba-Rock suddenly scornful of WWE

posted at 12:55 pm on August 13, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Now that WWE chief Linda McMahon has won the nomination for the US Senate seat in Connecticut held by the retiring Chris Dodd, Democrats are now attacking her association with the entertainment empire.  Funny how time changes things.  Why, just two years ago, a couple of politicians Hot Air readers may recognize elbowed their way into WWE in order to sell themselves to the very consumers that Democrats now want to denigrate:

In response to widespread criticism from Democrats who blasted Connecticut Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) program content that she oversaw as the company’s CEO, Republican groups pointed to the time when then-Democratic Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton appeared on a WWE show to promote their presidential campaigns in 2008.

“Do you smell what Barack is cooking?” Obama added, a reference to the famous catchphrase of former WWE personality “The Rock,” played by actor Dwayne Johnson.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared as well, offering a similar message.

“Hi. I’m Hillary Clinton. Tonight in honor of the WWE, you can call me Hill-Rod,” she said. “This election is starting to feel a lot like King of the Ring. The only difference: The last man standing may just be a woman.”

What a difference two years makes:

On Tuesday, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Eric Schultz called WWE programming “violent, sexually explicit material that glorified the exploitation of women, and the mentally disabled.” Democratic National Committee spokesman Hari Sevugan accused the GOP of nominating “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,” referring to sketches that appeared in WWE programming during McMahon’s tenure as CEO.

Gee, did Schultz scold two Democratic Senators for wrapping themselves up in WWE’s popularity in 2008?  We can smell what the DSCC is cooking, and it’s both hypocrisy and snobbery.  WWE was perfectly acceptable when Democrats could exploit it, and somehow eeeeeevil when it works against them.

I’m no fan of professional “wrestling,” speaking as a former high-school wrestler who thinks it demeans an honorable and challenging sport.  You couldn’t pay me to watch it.  However, there are plenty of entertainment choices on which I take a pass, but that doesn’t mean that the people who run it don’t excel in business and understand issues of payroll, investment, and the impact of government regulation on business success and failure.  Richard Blumenthal has spent his life mainly in the public sector and doesn’t have a clue about those issues.  You don’t have to like WWE’s product to understand Linda McMahon’s success and her fresh approach to federal policy and politics.   And while professional wrestling is nothing but a staged and scripted soap opera, it doesn’t exhibit the kind of hypocrisy Democrats have shown towards it.

Update: Chuck Todd calls McMahon the “worst nightmare” for Democrats. While the WWE angle is exotic, she’s running a mainstream campaign and has unlimited funds to do it:

Even Todd underestimates other Republicans; Rand Paul and Ken Buck are leading in the polls, and Sharron Angle’s within the MOE of Harry Reid.


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Comment pages: 1 2

fusionaddict on August 13, 2010 at 4:18 PM

That’s right, the guy who doesn’t use drugs, alcohol or nicotine is a BAD GUY.

Let’s be fair. CM Punk was introduced as a good guy, and remained a good guy for years. But everywrestler makes the good-to-bad or bad-to-good change (often, multiple times in their career). And you’re obviously a fan (or have been), so you know why. It allows for new feuds.

ynot4tony2 on August 13, 2010 at 10:01 PM

Comment pages: 1 2