Earlier today, I noticed a lot of the wrestling newssites covering a quote Linda McMahon gave yesterday regarding the death of Lance Cade, saying "I may have met him once." The callousness of such a comment let me to think it was being taken out of context, so I went snooping around, finding that the quote wasn't taken out of context at all, but was a response to a reporter asking if she knew Cade.
A lot has been written about Cade's recent death and WWE's handling of wrestlers as independent contractors, lack of an off season, a culture which encourages the abuse and addiction of painkillers, WWE's attempts to help Cade before, and ultimately the personal choice of a person in how they handle themselves in the wrestling culture. All of these are valid points, as no single factor can point to the death of Lance Cade. These points will not be argued and all contribute to the death of Cade.
What will be argued is how the public reacts to what they perceive as the insensitivity of politicians, their lack of connectivity to "the people", and how this can derail a campaign. Now lets be honest here for a second. Taking wrestling out of the equation, we have McMahon running in a state who hasn't had a Republican Senator since 1988, who is running for the vacated seat of Senator Dodd, a popular Democratic Senator in his state, and whose Democratic opponent is consistently running about 10% higher in the polls. She really doesn't stand a chance here (but don't let that think your PG14 dreams are going to come true, Attitude Markers!!).
Still, it's this quote, on top of her "Who knows what causes people to have addictions and do what they do?" remark which paints the picture of an out of touch CEO who cares more about profit share than the people who work for her, and that will easily lose her an election. The easiest thing to say in her place would have been to address Cade's death, offer her condolences to family and friends, give a history of how WWE tried to help Cade through his difficulties in the company and how that help was refused, how she as a CEO did everything she could but ultimately one can only do so much, and then hype up the Wellness Policy. It's simple Politics 101: make the people think you care about them. Instead we get passing the buck and "I may have met him once". You may have met him once. It's not like you have a huge stable of wrestlers to know, Linda! And at least have a campaign staffer remind you of who he is and what your company tried to do for him.
Bush failed after seeming to not care after Katrina. Obama failed after taking too much time after the BP oil disaster. The CEO of BP, Tony Hayward, recently 'resigned' after a series of terrible off the cuff remarks like "I want my life back", "What the hell did we do to deserve this?" and when asked if he can sleep at night, saying "of course I can". Regardless of how apathetic people are towards public figures, we at least want the facsimile of a person who cares. We don't want their own self-centered egos in front of our faces while we suffer. All we want is a slight amount of sympathy. McMahon offered none. And that may be her kick to the balls.
Eh, probably not. Nobody cares about wrestling deaths unless they kill their family too....