“It is a YouTube clip that has been seen by millions of people: Linda McMahon, dressed in a business suit, is slapped hard on the cheek by her daughter and falls to the ground with the audience baying for more. She then kicks an opponent in the testicles. Finally, as if by way of retribution, she is slammed head-first on to the canvas in a move known in professional wrestling circles as the piledriver. ‘That hurt, by the way,’ she said later. Mrs McMahon is a former wrestler and an entrepreneur worth an estimated $500 million. The woman who made Hulk Hogan a household name is now a candidate for one of the most contested seats in the US Senate. Yesterday she became the Republican front-runner in a race in which she has said she is ready to spend as much as $50 million of her own money. Even in a political culture that welcomes big money and brazen outsiders, Mrs McMahon’s run for the Senate stands out as ambitious and — so far, at least — successful. In six months she has fended off accusations of promoting smut and violence through professional wrestling, made a virtue of her ties to the sport by calling it ‘one of America’s greatest exports’ and overturned a 37-point deficit in opinion polls to claim a ten-point lead over her closest Republican rival.”