The rest of Trump's Cabinet makes Linda McMahon look good

I was puzzled how Linda McMahon, who spent almost $100 million of her own money trying to become a United States senator, was able to settle for becoming simply administrator of the Small Business Administration.

After all, she spent some $7 million giving to PACs to try to get Donald Trump elected president.

She might have expected to land a more exciting Washington gig than tending the bureaucracy that helps small businesses.

By all accounts, though, McMahon, who even got support for her SBA nomination from the two Connecticut senators who beat her in successive elections, is shining in the new job. She has been visiting businesses all over the country and reportedly has been to 35 states to visit and listen to small-business owners.

Currently on what she calls the Ignite Tour — so named, she told a reporter, because she is on fire to get things done and wants everyone else to be on fire, too — she plans to keep up the busy travel schedule.

A Google news search turns up dozens of local stories from around the country, as the SBA administrator tirelessly tours. She turns up often in national cable interviews, as well.

There are endless pictures of her in small local newspapers visiting restaurant kitchens, manufacturing plants, storerooms, front counters, the many varied venues of American small business.

The 69-year-old administrator, one of the highest-ranking women in Trump's administration, even visited an ulu knife factory in Anchorage, Alaska, and introduced herself to every single employee.

She talks up Trump in all those interviews, touting the new confidence she says she hears from small-business owners who tell her they are happy with the regulation shredding and tax cutting in Washington.

McMahon really warms up in her interviews when she talks about the tax cut. After all, it's good for the family business, World Wrestling Entertainment, not to mention the vast family fortune that now may pass freely to the next generation without the bother of inheritance taxes.

Maybe it's not so much that McMahon has thrown herself wholeheartedly into the new job that seems to make her a shining light in the Trump cabinet. It's also because the others are so mired in scandal.

McMahon hasn't ordered a $31,000 dining set for her office or a $43,000 soundproof phone booth.

She also hasn't spent tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on private plane travel.

McMahon travels commercially and, when she needs to rent private planes, she pays the difference herself, according to the SBA. She also presumably has at her disposal the ultra-luxurious Bombardier Global 5000 jet owned by WWE.

Unlike other Trump cabinet members who seem adrift, practically as well as ethically, McMahon enthusiastically has embraced her new responsibilities and seems to revel in telling her own small-business rags-to-riches story. She also seems to have a good grasp of what the agency she leads really does.

I have long thought that it was from McMahon that Trump stole the concept of fake news, so impressed was he by her fake wrestling tournaments.

McMahon, most likely the brains behind the partnership with her husband, Vince, that turned WWE into a financial behemoth, was the one who executed the brilliant idea to openly describe its programming as scripted and fake and therefore not subject to the traditional regulation of wrestling as a sport.

McMahon and Trump go way back and Trump, who is in the WWE Hall of Fame, once shaved Vince McMahon's head in a fake wrestling match billed as the battle of the billionaires.

It is interesting that, as she herself has turned from fashioning fiction into fake wrestling matches, she is creating one of the deeper wells of credibility and ethics in an administration often short on facts and the truth.

This is the opinion of David Collins.

d.collins@theday.com

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