A Candidate Commodified: Linda McMahon as a WWE Product in the 2010 Senate Campaign

Academic Article

Abstract

  • This article examines the commodification of Linda McMahon, former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), in her 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut. Much campaign discourse, including print media coverage and texts from both the candidate’s critics and allies, drew attention to McMahon’s wrestling background and constructed her experience in negative ways. Moreover, these multiple sources of discourse commodified McMahon as an actual and symbolic product of WWE. In addition, rhetoric produced by the campaign and WWE further promoted McMahon as a commodity “for sale” and marketed by the company in the context of the election. Through an examination of various forms of campaign discourse, this essay examines McMahon as a commodity of the WWE cipher. In a literal sense, this essay examines McMahon as a product of the WWE cipher alongside an assortment of commodities such as action figures, video games, t-shirts, and DVDs. In addition, this essay discusses McMahon as a symbolic product similar to concepts and ideals marketed by WWE, such as sex and violence.
  • Keywords

  • cipher, commodification, politics, wrestling, WWE
  • Author List

  • Walker JD
  • Start Page

  • 11
  • End Page

  • 18
  • Volume

  • 2
  • Issue

  • 1