New York - Nine
years ago Donald Trump shaved off her husband's hair after a wrestling
match on live television. On Wednesday, the president-elect nominated
wrestling tycoon Linda McMahon to his cabinet.
The perhaps most bizarre backstory to any of Trump's nominations so
far underscores his astonishing rise from braggadocious billionaire on
the celebrity circuit to the White House, taking charge on January 20 of
the world's most powerful democracy.
The incoming Republican president announced that he had nominated
McMahon to serve as head of the Small Business Administration, a
cabinet-level position. McMahon met with Trump in New York last week.
Trump, who has promised to slash corporate tax rates and roll back
regulations in an attempt to drive economic growth, called his new pick
"one of the country's top female executives."
"She helped grow WWE from a modest 13-person operation to a publicly
traded global enterprise with more than 800 employees in offices
worldwide," he said in a statement released by his transition team.
"Linda is going to be a phenomenal leader and champion for small
businesses and unleash America's entrepreneurial spirit all across the
McMahon, 68, said she was "honored" to have been picked. WWE says it
reaches more than 650 million homes worldwide in 25 languages.
Her wrestling-promoter husband Vince McMahon's staged feud with his
wife's new boss culminated in a 2007 wrestling match dubbed "Battle of
the Billionaires" in Detroit that was supposed to determine which tycoon
had more money.
Both selected wrestlers to fight on their behalf. Trump's wrestler
won, after which the New York tycoon body-slammed McMahon to the ground,
sat on him, then shaved off his rival's head of hair in the middle of
the wrestling ring.
The McMahons met as teenagers and have been married for 50 years.
The Small Business Administration is responsible for supporting
America's 28 million small businesses, which employ around half the
country's private-sector workforce.