Having more money than God wasn’t nearly enough to ensure a U.S. Senate seat for Repubican hopeful Linda McMahon 4 years ago, and given how poorly her association with the WWE played with Nutmeg State female voters last time, McMahon has undergone something of a P.R. makeover in her current campaign against Rep. Christopher Murphy (D). Writes the New York Times’ Peter Applebome, “McMahon has run advertisements featuring a softer, kinder, more grandmotherly presence…they feature her reminiscing about how she met her husband in church, how she found out she was pregnant the day before graduating from college and how she overcame hard times, including a bankruptcy.”
“I’m a mom,” she says in one campaign video as a piano plays gently in the background. “I’ve been a working mom, I’ve been a stay-at-home mom. I’m a grandmother. And I believe that I bring to the table many skills, many attributes that others who are in this race don’t have.”
Mr. Murphy has focused on Ms. McMahon’s support for the Blunt amendment, which would have allowed employers to refuse to cover contraception and other medical costs, and her commitment to overturning the Affordable Care Act. His speeches are full of dire warnings about the stakes for women on issues like federal financing for Planned Parenthood, control of the Supreme Court and protecting Roe v. Wade if a McMahon victory tips control of the Senate to the Republicans.
Mr. Murphy frequently notes the violent, sometimes misogynistic content of her wrestling empire and her party’s opposition to abortion.
“She says that women shouldn’t pay attention to her positions on the issues; they should just pay attention to her gender,” Mr. Murphy said at an appearance last week. “That’s insulting.”
“Murphy calls me antiwomen, but, Chris, take a look,” McMahon says in a recent television ad. “I am a woman, a pro-choice woman.” It concludes, “I’m Linda McMahon, an independent-minded woman, and I approve this message.”